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September 17, 2009 / Kuan

Insightful tips for photojournalists by Simon Roberts

The following insightful tips are offered by  Simon Roberts this Tuesday. His talk focused less on how to take a good image, but more on the business side. He said that we need to pay attention to your copyright and to be able to find our own idea and stories we want to tell. It has to be different from what everyone else is doing so that we can pitch to magazines.

1. Focus on currency. What are the news values in your photography? Photojournalists cannot live without news, so keep brainstorm fresh photo story ideas.

2. If you do not have idea of what you are going to do, keep your work consistent. This is the gold I found in Simon Roberts’ talk. For instance, if I am going somewhere and have no idea what photos I am going to take, just keep in mind to make the photos consistent. The coherency and consistency throughout these images will make them a thoughtful piece instead of snapshots that potentially can make a great story, and  magazines love that. Shoot all landscapes wide. Or portraits of a certain style of people. Or use one element throughout the work. Keep it consistent.

3. Team up with a writer. It’s always a plus when you have great photos and a well-written story to go along with when you pitch it to a magazine. “Texts can add additional meanings to the pictures,” he said.

4. Photograph things that will be worthwhile talking about 20 years later. Again, values of your photos matter.

5. Pay attention to what’s going on in the frame. Everything in a frame happens for reason.  Camera is just a tool to tell a story. Don’t overwhelmed by the tool. Capture the moment instead of hesitating which camera and which lens you will use.


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