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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Tell Us A Story, Make People Care" - David Griffin, National Geographic

A lot of people look at this video and one stark comment comes home. David Griffin stresses the“flashbulb moment” - the moment that takes you and grabs you by the throat and makes you sit up and take notice - And that ultimately is the difference between an amateur and a professional. An amateur takes one or two flashbulb moment photographs; a professional creates them all the time.

But what most people may not see is that David also gives you one of the keys to photojournalistic success and that is "Tell a story, make the viewers empathize with the subjects of your photographs, and provide a solution". This is an important lesson to all who listened is that people, no matter what we are as photographers, whether amateur or professional, is that we need to look at the story behind our images. "Bring out the story, make us care, make us find a solution to a problem". Photography is so much more powerful when it tells a story. Photography is an important medium that can be used to drive home a point when it is used to evoke a feeling, tell a story and make us think about the message that is being sent. And that's the message that I took home from that lecture and presentation. We have each been given an incredible skill and maybe we all should take a look at how we use it.

We can all take beautiful photographs, some of us can do it more regularly than others. But to take that ability and tell an empathic story with it takes photo-journalists to a whole 'nother level. Whether you're a wildlife photographer - (take a story of the plight of an endangered creature, dig deep into the cause, find out why the creature is endangered, picture why the creature is so important to us, seize on a possible solution to the inherent problem. grab people's heart-strings and make them care) or a wedding photographer (Show a person's lifestory in images. bring out their relationship, make their story tug at the heartstrings of the viewer), the recipe is the same. No matter what genre of photographer that you are, it makes no difference, the concept is the same and it makes your photography have more punch.

David Griffin gave me (in this presentation) an essential keystone of what I can turn my photography into, a strength in telling a story that tugs at the heart-strings and the possibility of solving problems with my photography.

The underlying question is: Can we all care enough to make a difference with our photography and will anyone listen?

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