Enter a new blog series by yours truly, Jeff Smudde.
Along with that, I now have categories within my blogs, so you can more easily navigate through the different blog series I have been writing. Those categories are seen below the title of each blog, and right over there to the right (unless you’re on mobile - I’m still trying to figure that out).
All kinds of new stuff for you this time around.
Time to introduce this new series and give a little of my background in order to give some solid ground to work off of.
Within this new series, I will be writing about a variety of topics relating to storytelling photography, hence the name, “Storyphoto.” Much of my 2018 was spent studying narrative photography. From documentary and photojournalism, to photobooks, to conceptual projects. I was primarily looking at contemporary photographers and photojournalists making work from the past two decades and putting them in conjunction with historical photographers. Studying sequence, what good storytelling photography needs to have in order to have an impact on the viewer, and finally, visual aesthetic.
Simply put, I’m interested in studying what it means to tell stories with photography in 2019 and on.
People often say that photojournalism, and photography as a whole, is a dying art. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There has never been a more important time to be a storytelling photographer than 2019. News outlets laying off their photographers, degrading the quality of their visual content, meanwhile major stories are being told with less-than-interesting photographs and video. It’s up to the storytelling photographers of 2019 to prove to the executives of these outlets that photographers are just as important as their reporters, as their writers, as their producers. That you can’t use the mentality that “anyone can take a photo” (which, yes, is true, in a technical sense), because not everyone can see the way that a trained photographer does.
This past Fall semester, I took my second round of the advanced studies in photography: narrative course with my professor, Bill O’Donnell. The first time I took this course, I was still in a weird period of my photographic career where I didn’t really know what I anted to do or where I wanted to take my work. On my second time taking the class in the fall of 2018, I had developed a stronger understanding of what it means to tell stories with photographs.
To add the icing on the cake, I also work two photojournalism jobs at my university. WGLT, the NPR radio station in association with Illinois State University, as well as The Daily Vidette, the student-run newspaper at ISU. I wouldn’t be involved in photojournalism if it weren’t for my good friend Carleigh Gray, who encouraged me to apply for the job at WGLT, and later led me to the Vidette.
I’m excited to see how this develops over the months, and however long it may continue afterward.
This blog series is technically for my news and online writing class, but I’m treating it like all of my other blogs I’ve been writing.