|The women's reaction was much more interesting to me than the naked cowboy.|
A little over a year ago while still living in Europe, I enrolled in a photojournalism class in London, at the London School of Photography. My primary objective was to challenge myself, step out of my comfort level and enhance my photography by practicing editorial work. Well, I got that a bit more...not to mention a week on my own in London without the family. Yes, I was a girl about town.
During the introduction, the instructor, Alex Mita, familiarized us with some key aspects of photography in journalism. He proceeded to tell us that he would be sending us out on assignments everyday. He acted as the editor and we were photographers on his "staff." It was a great twist for a course and made the work seem important and relevant. The first day's assignment was a bit of shocker. However, I think he did it on purpose. Our assignment was to shoot sex....(read again if you have to). Seriously, he sent us out with a purpose of shooting anything out in Soho of London that was sexy. There was lots to shoot...shops, ladies, gentlemen, bars, bookstores, etc. It was an exciting and a welcoming change to the doldrums of stay at home mommyhood. It also made me realize that not all photography is enjoyable. The theme was not something that I would have picked. But as a photojournalist you don't get to pick, you are assigned, and you better do it and do it well or you won't get another job. He opened my eyes to the hardships and pressures that the men & women in journalism face everyday. I have a higher respect and admiration for them.
As the week progressed, he continued to teach us a bit of the history of photojournalism and introduced us to great journalists like Henri Cartier Bresson and famous war photojournalists like James Nachtwey and Robert Capa. Alex was a war journalist himself and enriched the class with his personal stories and anecdotes. He also taught us some camera tips like spanning, the importance of white balance and further sharpening our images. He also gave us the number one rule of photojournalism...NEVER alter an image...crop if you must but the image is NEVER altered. Which is something that most photographers struggle with in this age of post-processing and photoshop craze, don't you think? I enjoyed the week terribly and learned more than I ever would have imagined. I left you with a few examples of my "work" assignments of spanning, signs, the naked cowboy, wealth, and work. Alright, enough talk about work.
TGIF!!! Enjoy your weekend!!