A story without words


In semester one of CreComm, I had the privilege to write a personality profile on Carlyn Graff. This assignment had two parts: a written story, and a picture that also tells the story.

Colin Corneau, a photojournalist, came to one of our classes to give us some tips on taking great photos that tell a story. I’ve always loved photography, but I didn’t really think a photo could tell a story. I was wrong (and I don’t say that lightly.)

Colin’s tips about framing, and capturing a photo that speaks to people really enhanced my photography skills. Now when I take any picture, I want that picture to not only grab someone’s attention, but to make them see a story.

After I interviewed Carlyn, I started taking pictures of her with her guitar. She looked right into my camera lens and started smiling. I took some pictures, and looked at them on my camera, and I thought to myself, “what am I doing?”  I wasn’t try to capture a Facebook profile picture type of picture, I was trying to tell a story. My story was about how Carlyn plays the guitar with one hand, so that’s what I needed to tell through a photograph. I told her to play me song. She looked down, and started playing, and I realized that I was now summarizing my story. I used the fall scenery to my advantage and took some photos from a lower angle that got some leaves in front of her that added a little more to the photo.

I was happy with my photos, and I took many. I’ve also learned that when taking photos, you need to take lots because once you put the photos on your laptop, you’ll want some selection. I had about 100 photos of Carlyn. I had wide, medium, and tight shots that gave me a lot of options.

Colin and my instructor went through everyone’s photos. My instructor told me that she and Colin really liked my photo, and could see what my story was about by just looking at my photo.

An article called Why Is Photojournalism Important by Michele Wanke says that photojournalists take photos that enhance stories.

“Images taken by photojournalists should summarize what has been written in an article of some kind. Reading the news paper, or watching the news becomes more effective because we can relate the news to real life situations, and understand fully what is must be like to be in that actual place at that actual time,” says Wanke.

It wasn’t until this photo that I realized photojournalism is so important.

Until next week,




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