It’s important to try new things. No one can argue with that. But, for young aspiring photojournalists, trying new things involves engaging with social media and using such platforms as Instagram to tell stories can be difficult. How does one tell a story using say Instagram or Snapchat you ask? On day four of the RIT PJ Washington D.C. trip, we spoke with picture editors from National Geographic and The Washington Post to give us some tips and tricks on exactly that.
In the morning, we were greeted by Mallory Benedict, photo editor for National Geographic. Mallory explained that it is important to have specialities you’re interested besides photography. For example, biology is a common interest many of the NatGeo staff has. When speaking to an editor of the travel section, he explained that the distinction between being a tourist and a journalist is huge, and a good way of deciphering what photographers are truly interested in telling stories of the human condition rather than just photographing pretty places and making pretty pictures. When the question was posed on what NatGeo looks for in a picture editing intern the response was someone who can be a leader, a project manager and someone with strong research skills.
Next was our visit to the Washington Post. We were told that if you’re passionate about what you do and if you do the work, everything will come together. Stories that are connected to current news events and involving yourself into everything you do will also help you succeed in building a relationship with the Washington Post MaryAnn stated. The Washington Post does NOT think in a single distribution manner.
Using Instagram as a new digital storytelling platform is important when thinking about the overall package. We heard from staff photographer Salwan Georges, and he stated that an Instagram story has to be a STORY. You want to keep the viewer curious and using hashtags like #onassignment is a good way to keep your audience engaged.