The following tips are a consolidation of ideas I picked up from listening to an interview with Ami Vitale. I highly recommend watching/listening to the entire video as there is a whole lot more to the interview than these few bullet point. The actual full interview can be found within the PhotoShelter Blog ( PhotoShelter website ). You will find many great interviews and blog insightful articles on the photoshelter site.
- Know Your Passion: You need to focus yourself on subject matter which you feel passionate about. You will produce much better work and work harder to get the best story if you're projects "speak to you".
- Read voraciously: So much literature can provide a seed for ideas which might be shown visually, or even be better as a visual story.
- Talk to different types of people to get different perspectives on the same topic.
- Localize and humanize a bigger issue. If a topic is too large, people will not connect. So select a small example of the fallout from a much larger issue.
- Think visually about an idea. Not all ideas work visually. Since you are looking for powerful visuals as a photojournalist, you don't want to use your energy pursuing topics which don't lend themselves to that medium (even if they are worthy news items).
- Write a lot. Put ideas on paper. ( Ami will apply to grants just to help flesh out the idea even if she doesn't expect to get it)
- Be an observer of life. Don't overlook the subtleties around you.
- Trust your own instincts. Sometimes you understand a story better than others, so it's your job to tell that story in a way that others understand.
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