Photojournalism envy

By Gina Ender

I am consistently in awe of really quality photography and design. As a journalist, my goal is to create in reader’s minds what a visual can do instantly.

My problem is, and I am sure other writers feel similarly, that it is often hard to limit myself to one photo. It may take me a 1000 word article to get a point across that a picture can do by itself.

How is it that writers spend hours interviewing and typing and editing a story when the audience likely just glances at the pretty picture beside it?

I would love to be a great photographer, but I frankly do not have the patience. I cannot let a picture stand alone: I always want to explain it with a lengthy caption. It has become my nature to want to edit everything in front of me. I can no longer let photos of friends and foliage be uploaded to Instagram unless they have been heavily filtered with VSCO cam.

Real photojournalism does not seek to impress with its lighting or its saturation levels. When successful, it does what journalists write intently and passionately to do: to tell a story that makes the audience feel something.

I am grateful for these storytellers who are able to come alongside writers and take photos that complement and enhance our articles. The best thing we as reporters can do is to write in a way that readers think, “That article made me feel like I was there,” as a photo does.