Mastering Storytelling in Photojournalism

Abstract

Over the past few decades, new media technologies such as smartphones, tablets and other devices have changed storytelling and the ways stories were once delivered.¬†Due to the shift in new media, there are new ways stories are shared through social media sites such as Facebook(an online social networking), Twitter (an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called ‚Äútweets‚ÄĚ),Instagram (is an online mobilephoto-sharing, video-sharing and social networking¬†service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms)¬†and blogs (a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (‚Äúposts‚ÄĚ) typically displayed in reverse chronological order).

A popular site that uses storytelling and visual rhetoric through various social media platform isHumans of New York, a photo blog by Brandon Stanton. The photo blog introduces viewers to various stories that explore issues such a sexism, freedom and loss just to name a few and in doing so has vastly changed storytelling. The photo blog shares unique stories via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their site which affords viewers and user of those online communities a chance to connect and engage. Often times many of these stories receive over 1,000,000 views and were broadcast on local news station. In an effort to understand how the stories mediated through Humans of New York become successful and afford users a chance to engage, I will analyze how the stories become successful and assess their best practices.

By determining their best practices, I will use their best practices to produce three images on the subject matter loss and populate these images via my personal pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and personal blog Black Attire Aficionado and monitor user engagements with the subject. The quantification of user engagement will entail monitoring the sites and record and analyze the different ways users interacted with the image. Essentially, by using their best practices, I believe I can produce user engagement to Humans of New York but on a smaller magnitude. Finally, by understanding user engagement on different social media sites, one can tailor the message for a specific audience which can contribute to a more successful story delivery.

 

ePortfolio

Proposal

Write Up

Class Presentation 

Project Reflection

Social platforms for Deliverables

Image 1: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Black Attire Aficionado

Image 2: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Black Attire Aficionado

Image 3: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram 1 & 2 and Black Attire Aficionado

 

Analytics/ Screenshots can be found via my Dropbox

Final Project Draft

Abstract

In a exploration of the photoblog Humans of New York (HONY), a blog by photographer Brandon Stanton. The photoblog provides a unique way to share stories via social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Blog. The photoblog introduces viewers to various stories that explore issues such a sexism, freedom and loss just to name a few. This new platform of that shares stories has changed photojournalism. The purpose of the project is to identify the best practices that HONY uses and try a create an image using their best practices. The success of the project will be determined by how many likes, share, user engagement the image receives across various social media sites.

My Write Up, Reflection and Presentation are located on my ePortfolio profile.

 

Here are the links to my personal Social Media Sites that I used for the purpose of the project:

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, my WordPress personal blog Black Attire Aficionado .

Here are the links to Humans of New York social media sites that I used for the purpose of the project:

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the website Humans of New York.

Final Reflection- Deliverables

In the week of 11/29 after returning from a relaxing break, I returned feeling very excited. During the evening of 11/30 I worked on my second progress presentation. In the second progress report, I wrote candidly about my struggles with having a clear understanding of my project and the end results. I wrote about the ways in which the project made me more disciplined. There were certain elements of the project that was to have been completed however due to timing it was not completed. Also on 11/30 I posted my first image rendition of Humans of New York photo. I interviewed a male friend of mine who is twenty-three years old. He was super excited to share his thoughts on loss. Earlier in the day, after my internship, I met him in China Town, New York where he interns. I took a photo of him from the back because he did not want to show his face. He did not feel comfortable with his face in the photo which is understandable. I took the photo and asked him to send me his quote via text on loss.

The quote: #1 The Loss of Time

Jodieann's Human of New York Facebook

“The worst kind of loss is the loss of time, because it’s constant and never ending, you won’t stop losing time until you die. This can drive one crazy as your goals becomes more immediate and crunched under the weight of time. Time lost also manifests itself in moments spent with others, it’s a little scary how long we can go without seeing someone or doing something and be instantly reminded of that once we see the person or participate in that activity again. Our memories remind us of how fast time flies and how if we don’t use it responsibly we can waste a lot of time, as time waits for no one.”#HumansofNewYork

 

This photo was shared via these four social media platforms¬†Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Black Attire Aficionado. I posted the image and the quote from participant #1 along with the hashtag (#HumansofNewYork).¬†The response was surprising. For the first few moments when I shared the photo via Instagram which was shared to Facebook, there was no response. I was worried that no one would interact with the image which would make my project unsuccessful. Within the next hour my photo received likes on both platforms. The photo via¬†Instagram¬†received 11 likes and 3 comments. Three instagrammers participated in the conversation. Many found the quote on loss to be “powerful”. I did not engage with any of the commenters because Brendan Stanton does not engage with users, it is one of the strategies I listed in my Humans of New York Best Practices, which will be shared on my ePortfolio site on 12/15. I found the photo shared on Instagram to be successful because it received likes and users engaged with the photo. On the platform Facebook, I received 9 likes within a matter of minutes. There was no user engagement on this platform. I did not find this very successful because I have over 700 Facebook friends and was quite surprised by the lack of response. On Twitter, I took a different approach to sharing the image. I posted the image with¬†a short sentence from the quote and linked it to my personal blog Black Attire Aficionado using Bitly and the hashtag #HONY so that anyone searching the hashtag would see the tweet. The photo shared via Twitter, received over 100 impressions(the amount of times people saw the tweet on Twitter), and received over 10 user engagements such as clicking the link, the hashtag and the media(the photo). I would say that the image was successful to some degree because over 100 people saw it but no one engaged. I screenshot these findings and posted it to my blogpost Coming to Grips: Projection Reflection-Round 2.

The following day I met with professor Belli to discuss the progress of my project, I received feedback to revisit my proposed timeline where I did not complete the deliverables. Also, I was advised to write my best practices on the blog Humans of New York. Later that evening I reworked my blog post but for some reason it was not updated. I did not find this out until 12/3 after I presented my Prezi presentation. Also after my presentation, I received feedback from my class that was very positive. In the feedback, I was told that the project had a clearer understanding than before. Samantha mentioned that she would have a prospect for me because I was unable to find someone to share their story on loss.

On 12/5 I crated my second image using my own quote. I decided to write about myself because I could not find anyone and I thought it would be more intimate. On the subject of loss, I wrote about losing my ability to laugh during hard times. I did not want to do the traditional story on relationship. I chose a photo that was taken during the summer and wrote.

The quote:# 2 The Loss of LaughterIMG_2195

“I’m afraid of losing my ability to laugh during moments of hard times. My laugh is what I cherish most of all. Sometimes there are people who come into your life whose purpose is to destroy you and by some miracle it changes you.¬†Often times this can make you a better person and other times it can make you bitter. My laugh is infectious and youthful and losing it is a constant fear of mine. . .” #humansofnewyork

 

This photo was shared via these four social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Black Attire Aficionado.¬†I posted the image and the quote from participant #2 along with the hashtag (#HumansofNewYork).¬†The response was immediate. For the first few moments when I shared the photo via Instagram which was shared to Facebook, it received over 20 likes. The responses were “love that smile, hearts <3 <3, I love this picture, you’re glowing and you’re absolutely right keep smiling”. I would say this was a great start, I will continue to monitor it because I have over 700 friends. The photo via Instagram received over 30 likes with only one Instagram comment. I was expecting a more intense response because the photo was of myself and I thought my friends would have engaged more. On Twitter,¬†I took a different approach to sharing the image. I posted the image with¬†a short sentence from the quote and linked it to my personal blog Black Attire Aficionado using Bitly and the hashtag #HONY¬†so that anyone searching the hashtag would see the tweet.¬†The photo shared via Twitter, received over 60 impressions and 2 twitter engagements.¬†I would say that the image was successful to some degree because over 60 people saw it but no one engaged.

 

The quote:# 3 The Loss of a Grandmother

“Losing my grandmother was one of the worst feelings in the world. She was like a second mother to me. She raised me and lived right downstairs from me. All I knew was her being there. She moved to Canada a few years before her passing. It was sudden and out of nowhere and by far one of the worst things that I would have found out. She had an aneurysm. We went to Canada right away to be by her side. When I saw her it wasn’t her, she wasn’t herself and she was not conscious. It’s a horrible feeling seeing someone you love so much in that type of state. I was in the room with her and some family when she passed.

A Granddaughters Loss

A Granddaughters Loss

My heart was sinking and I felt like I was dying inside. When we heard the machine go off I knew she was gone. I felt like I died inside. I starred at her and spoke to her in her ear before she went. It wasn‚Äôt easy to deal with at all. But thank God I had my son, Aiden there to hug and kiss and keep me strong and keep my mind busy. I know she‚Äôs in a better place, I just think it was too early for her to leave. It‚Äôs not an easy thing to deal with losing someone you love so much. I am grateful she was able to be here when my son was born and she knew him for a year and a half. I still miss her to this day but I smile knowing she‚Äôs watching over my family and me. I know she sees my son growing up and is proud of the job I‚Äôm doing as a mother. I see her in my dreams and sometimes feel that she‚Äôs around, either by smell or just feeling her presence.‚ÄĚ #HumansofNewYork

This photo was shared via these four social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Black Attire Aficionado.¬†I posted the image and the quote from participant #3 along with the hashtag (#HumansofNewYork) on social media sites.¬†The response was slower than I expected. I expected it would have a lot more engagements because it was a quote on the loss of a loved one which I’m sure many people have experienced at some point in their life.¬†For the first few moments when I shared the photo via Instagram which was shared to Facebook, it received 8 likes. The responses were “I love this!”. I would say this was a great start, I will continue to monitor it because I have over 700 friends and it is a great read. The photo via Instagram received over 10 likes with only one Instagram comment. Because the quote was very long, I broke it up into 2 parts. On 12/6 I posted part one and will post part 2 on 12/7. One of the best practices I found in my analysis of HONY was that for long quotes Brandon Stanton broke it up into short quotes and would post the rest the following day.

In some ways I was expecting a more intense response because the quote was powerful. On Twitter, I took a different approach to sharing the image. I posted the image with a short sentence from the quote and linked it to my personal blog Black Attire Aficionado using Bitly and the hashtag #HONY so that anyone searching the hashtag would see the tweet. The photo shared via Twitter, received over 40 impressions and 2 twitter engagements. I have not determined the success of this image because there is one more part to post.

This will be updated on 12/8,  12/10 and 12/12 is the final analysis of the amount of user engagements that occurred on the social media sites.  

What Makes A Story Successful in Photojournalism? *Revision*

Project Proposal

Topic: What Makes a Story Successful in Photojournalism?

By exploring photojournalism and visual storytelling, these two disciplines can potentially aid in how individuals share their stories in various new media platforms, which can offer insight in what makes a successful story. I intend to introduce three types of images from the blog Humans of New York and Storycorps that successfully captures the narrative of photojournalism and how it presents an opportunity to give individuals a voice. 

For this project, I will examine the blog Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton, a blog that shares stories while offering a new light on photojournalism and cultivating a new type of visual experience and StoryCorps, a nonprofit that provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. I will view 3 photos from Humans of New York and 3 videos from StoryCorps that I find visually captivating and content that sheds light on the individual in an effort to chart what makes a successful story.

In this project, I will explain the following:

  1. How can you successfully tell your story?
  2. How does reading or watching a story transforms an individual?

Other elements to explore:

  1. Create a image similar to Humans of New York with a person and a quote about their life and post on Instagram and Twitter.
  2. Compare my attempt to try to create a image similar to Humans of New York with a success image from Human of New York, the image will be tracked on Instagram and Twitter via those networks analytics.
  3. A blog post on my personal blog to share the image and write a reflection piece.

 

Definition*

 

Photojournalism-is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that employs images in order to tell a news story.

Storytelling-is the conveying of events in words, sound and/or images, often by improvisation or embellishment

Visual storytelling-

Success-the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

Image- a representation of the external form of a person or thing in art.

 

Multimodalities:

WordPress Blog, Instagram, Twitter, Prezi

Topics and Projected Timeline:

Week of the 15th 

Explain what is photojournalism and visual storytelling.

A.) History of photojournalism and visual storytelling, the new technologies within the world of new media and the platforms.

B.) Write out the history and mission of Humans of New York.

C.) Explain its best practices and strategies that are successful

D.) Select three images from Humans of New York

  • Examine the photos, critique the photos using the visual literacies guidelines
  • Discuss the process of this via online journal
  • How did the image and content successfully tell the story

Week of the 22nd

A.) History of photojournalism and visual storytelling, the new technologies within the world of new media and the platforms.

B.) Write out the history and mission of Storycorps.

C.) Explain its best practices and strategies that are successful

D.) Select three images from Storycorps

  • Examine the photos, critique the photos using the visual literacies guidelines
  • Discuss the process of this via online journal
  • How did the image and content successfully tell the story

Week of the 29th

A.) Create a comparative analysis of Humans of New York and Storycorps

B.) Pros and Cons

C.) Prospect

  • Find someone to try and successfully create a photo similar to Humans of New York and shared to Instagram and Twitter
  • The image will be tracked daily on Instagram, I will also use hashtags to help circulate the image on Instagram and on Twitter.
  • Perhaps embed this image and write a blog post on OpenLab

Week of the 6th

A.)Explain why it is important to create  successful story in photojournalism

B.) Write a reflection on the process of creating the image, was it successful or not?

  • What would I do different?
  • What other platforms should I have used?
  • How should I promote the image?
  • Reviews on the image from classmates
  • Was it hard to circulate the image?

 

Deliverables

  1. Analysis of Humans of New York and three images
  2. Analysis of Humans of Storycorps and three images
  3. A image created by me that mirrors Human of New York, this will be on Instagram on my personal account because I have a decent number of followers
  4. A comparative analysis between the two sites.
  5. A reflection of my success or failure with creating an images
  6. A recommended guideline TBD
  7. The end-result will be presented in the form of short short film/video of some sort which will be posted to Jodieann Stephenson’s e-portfolio site.

 

 

Can Photojournalism Change Our Biases?

Overview

In an exploration of photojournalism, visual storytelling, and how it can potentially reshape our understanding of certain groups of people it offers insights which can potentially change our biases. I intend to introduce various types of images from the blog Humans of New York that can elaborate on how photojournalism presents an opportunity to change our biases beyond online mediums. Throughout this experiment, I will engage with images on a superficial sense, and on a practical level where I can probe certain visual literacies of an image within the context of Humans of New York.

Problem

Since the emergence of new media sites, it has given birth to various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram which has offered individuals a way to express themselves in unique discourse communities than before. In doing so, many individuals use photos with or without content as a way of to give a voice to voiceless individuals. Does photojournalism paint a fair picture of our culture today? Specifically, can photojournalism reshape our understanding of certain types of people and offer insight, which can possibly change our biases?

Solution

Over the span of all of our lives we have digested millions of images. Many of these images has shaped how we perceive the world and it has been reinforced by mass media. My contention is that photojournalism offers individuals a chance to offer new understandings of certain kinds of people and perhaps in doing so we can end our biases about certain groups of people. For this project, I will examine the blog Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton, a blog that shares stories while offering a new light on photojournalism and cultivating a new type of visual experience. I will view 1,000 of out 3,530 photos and explore 3-5 that I find visually captivating and content that sheds light on the individual in an effort to chart how I am transformed through this experience. 

Deliverables

  1. To create a comparative analysis which I write about my emotion about a certain image and then write about my emotions are reading the content of the image and write about the emotions I feel after the image. This will be executed by leaving a comment on Instagram/Facebook below the image.
  2. A PowerPoint/Prezi presentation with images that carefully assess each photos for the overall image, the image point of view, the quality of the image, the subject matter of the image (if there is any) whether it is environmental, controversial, or presents a challenge to ethical values.
  3. A blog post to my personal blog Black Attire Aficionado that I can reflect on the success, emotions, and revelations of how I was affected by the images and contents of the Human of New York and if I was changed by the visual storytelling. (Hyperlinks to ePortfolio, to Black Attire Aficionado, and to OpenLab)
  4. Create a image that mirrors Human of New York and tracks its success on Instagram and Facebook. (Use hashtags on Instagram and Facebook)

Objectives

The visual language/ visual rhetoric, multimedia storytelling, and how our cultural beliefs leads to misinterpretation of an image has affected how we quantify ourselves and the people around us.

Questions to Probe

  1. How does cultural beliefs affect visual storytelling?
  2. Can an image stand without content?
  3. What factors play a part in interpretation?
  4. How does culture affect the way we interrupt an image?
  5. Why does culture affect the way we interrupt an image?
  6. Can we un-train our eyes?

Goals

To successfully chart my discoveries and offer insight on how we shine a new light on the ways in which photojournalism plays role in how interpret images and perhaps how we can begin to un-train our eyes.

Timeline

11/12 View 100-500 photos

11/15 View 100-500 photos

11/18 Narrow down on 3-5 photos

TBD

 

Methodology

TBD

 

Sources (subject to change)

Humans of New York

Photojournalism 

The Importance of Storytelling 

Visual Narratives 

Forbes 

Photojournalism and Rhetoric

Blog Presentation- HONY

Download (PPTX, 6.11MB)

Abstract

In today’s world there are few things we don’t find online, news articles, weather forecasts and even banking. However with the influx of information available to us we don’t often get to see a human side to blogging. Humans of New York was created in 2010 and have grown into a global phenomenon garnishing millions of followers. The author has managed to incorporate current social happenings with a date, time and individual. The stories featured on the blog range from pulling at your heart strings to making you laugh but all the while giving a virtual voice to users who otherwise would go unnoticed.