Incorporating Photography into your Reporting

“Often, reporters find themselves in the middle of something newsworthy or interesting, so basic photography skills are critical for anyone who considers herself or himself a journalist.” – JournalismNext

1. The best camera is the one you have with you.
Use your cell phone, a point-and-shoot, your sister’s camera. The important thing is to have a camera with you.

There is a lot you can do with a cell phone.See:
The Beginners’ Lens
-Dial P for Photo
-Through My Eye, Not Hipstamatic
Street photography and Instagram photobooks by @koci

2. Try some mobile photo tools and photo sharing websites
WordPress mobile – To upload a photo directly to your blog
Twitpic – Photo sharing via Twitter
Instagram – iPhone photo sharing with effects and location
Flickr – Photo sharing website
Check out this list of mobile photo editing apps (RJI Mobile Journalism Reporting Tools Guide)

3. Explore
Give yourself an education in photojournalism. Look at websites, books, and exhibitions.

For example, start with the blogroll of Lens is the photography blog of The New York Times.

4.  Learn what makes a good photo
To begin to understand why some photographs are better than others, incorporate some basic rules of composition into your photography.

See 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

5. Learn to organize and manage your images
Some options:
iPhoto (Mac)
Windows Photo Gallery (PC)
Flickr (Web-based)

6. Learn to edit your images
Always create a copy. Do not edit the original.

Photoshop is the standard editing tool. But there are other programs like Windows Picture Editor, iPhoto, etc.

Pixels – a visual representation of data in a digital image or graphic (megapixel = 1 million pixels or 3.2 megapixels = 11 X 14 photograph)

Resolution – number of pixels per inch (ppi) in an image.

-72 ppi for web
-200 ppi for newspapers
-300 ppi+ for magazines

  • Rotate (Image>Rotate Canvas in Photoshop)
  • Save for Web

Here is a tutorial on How to Resize and Save Your Photos for the Web Using Photoshop

7. Pay attention to how news orgs are using reader photos

You Were There (
Hurricane Irene’s impact in your neighborhood (

8. Practice. Practice. Practice.

-Don’t know what that button is for? Try it.
-A variety of shots. Tight, medium, wide shots.
-Variety of angles.
-Where is the light?
-Rule of thirds?
-Get closer.

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