Well, I think you’d be hard pressed to make better candidates for this. I think one of the most valuable skills an aspiring photojournalist can acquire is the ability to draw an object in their mind. This skill is often forgotten, but it’s absolutely critical to this art. If you don’t know what to draw, what will you be looking at? Will the image you see contain a human being, someone standing, someone in motion, or a static landscape? What are they feeling or holding on to? By knowing what an object is thinking and feeling, I believe it’s possible to draw an accurate photograph or still image of anyone.
For example, if someone holds onto a chair, they’re trying to figure out if they’re sitting, standing, or just laying on the couch, etc. How do you know what a chair is feeling in those specific situations? The answer here is knowing what they’re seeing with their eyes and what they are thinking. If you have an interesting image you want to capture, I would think a picture of your subject could be used to help you understand what they are feeling, what they need, and what they think.
What makes a great photo?
This is another difficult question. I think this is a good question to start with because the answer you’ll ultimately come up with, however, is ultimately a personal thing. For me, what I strive for in my photography is the truth of what I see. As important as the answer I can give is to the people whose interests are interested in what I’m showing them, those questions make photojournalism so much fun and so rewarding and, eventually, the answer is what you want to capture.
For me, a photographic portrait is a wonderful experience; an exploration of my subject and an art gallery for me. For the photojournalist, the same things I would look for in a landscape photo are the same things I’d look for in an image of a house. Photography captures my subject in the moment, it draws out every detail, and it offers an opportunity to understand what they are feeling, what they need, and what they think.
For me, shooting a house means that I am not just shooting an object. That makes it very important to me to take a good look at the landscape and to think of how I would capture those features so they will provide a good picture of what I’m seeing, but most importantly, it means I can tell the story I’m going for.