News photos shape historical memories

Jacqueline Kennedy holds the flag that draped over President Kennedy’s coffin.

Photos used in the field of photojournalism can create images of history, shaping people’s memories of events.

The first sight of photojournalism can begin with Carol Szathmari, a photojournalist whose photos of the Crimean War were published entirely throughout Europe in the 1850s. The photos captured news events.

Portland Center Stage, a professional community theater organization in Oregon, comments that “photojournalists report stories to the public’s eye in a way that can be understood by all ages and literary levels.” Photos have become the eye of journalism as they add significance in a news story.

Photojournalist James Nachtwey explains perfectly the concept of just how important photos are able to tell a story emotionally.  He said as a photographer, it is his job to capture the strong emotions felt at the time of the scene and channel them through his work.  Photography is a type of art form that can produce images to reflect emotions.  An image should connect the readers emotionally to the news story. Photography takes more skills than just pointing and shooting.  According to the Chicago Tribune, one of the most important skills a photojournalist needs is to have anticipation.  In other words, the photojournalist knows where to be at the right time to capture the right images.

To help determine just how valuable an image can be, try to remember the words of famous photojournalist Eddie Adams: “If it makes you laugh, if it makes you cry, if it rips out your heart, that’s a good picture.” 

-Katherine Moua

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