How your photos can make an impression

By · Wednesday, May 1st, 2019
Foofie, an honorary Newhouse News Hound, holds a copy of the second edition of “Think Like an Editor: 50 Strategies for the Print and Digital World.” (Photo by Steve Davis)

not teaching,
still THINKING …

Photos are a big draw on social media, and here are some tips to consider before you publish them. These tips are not only for journalists, but also for anyone who posts images.

  1. Check identifications. Be sure spellings accompanying images are correct and that they match spellings elsewhere in your post. Be sure people are identified — and in the proper order.
  2. Give credit. Be sure every photo includes the name of the photographer or the name of the wire service or agency that owns it.
  3. Trust your instincts. Be sure the photo reflects reality. When sharing the work of others, look carefully for any signs of electronic alterations.

Consider this analogy about photos. If you think of the digital universe as one big photo album, then ask yourself: Is this an album with a collection of all the best photos, carefully selected and presented? Or, are some pages of this album stuffed with every frame that was ever shot? You will see it all because professional sites mingle with personal ones. Professional photographers with amateurs. News with entertainment. The best with everything else.

Maybe what you should ask is: Does my portion of this giant album draw people to it because it is well-organized and contains carefully selected photos? Or, did I put everything out there? Make good choices and take viewers’ time into consideration.

Every decision you make is a judgment, and decisions about photos are personal. Strive to make a connection between the photo and the viewer. As you look around, you’ll come across all manner of photos and galleries. Some are so good you’ll think there’s no way you can compete.

But don’t think about it as a competition.

Think about how you can make an impression.

(These two profs are no longer teaching at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, but we are still thinking.)

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