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.

Coming to Grips: Project Reflection- Round 2

Revised as of 12/5 to reflect feedback from Jill

At what point in your life do you acknowledge defeat? The project for Writing with New Media has proven to be quite a challenge for me. I feel as if my heads are still in the clouds, I have not quite successfully articulated in my proposal how I expect to complete this project. It’s very much of challenge to clearly define my purpose of this project as well as the deliverables. I have gone back and forth with trying to clearly state my vision of this project,  I think it is very much a work in progress. I feel that as I go along the project begins to manifest in a weird way. The project requires a lot of discipline which I have not given anything in a while because I have been focused in various places. As a result, it is forcing to rethink my management skills and also how I tackle a project. In a weird way this project is changing the way I think about the word project, deliverables and purpose. It is affording me chance to rethink the way I execute a task. Specifically, how I analyze and synthesize a project brief. I did not use my time effectively in the first rounds of this project and now I am at a hard rock. It is a incredible frustrating point in my project journey but it is a point that I need to be in. With as this built up frustration and confusion and exhaustion it is given me a chance to reflect on who I have been all my life. It is now requiring me to change many of my bad habits. This project required me to clearly define a proposal with specific guidelines and I have veered off the track of my timeline. I am afraid this project will not be as successful as I hoped. Also, because I have veered off my timeline there are elements of my project that I need to rework and clearly state the intent of the project.

My proposed timeline I should have completed the work for the week of the 11/27 which was to create and explain the best practices for HONY brand. I was to analyze their practices and will try to successfully recreate their approach to sharing a story within the online community of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

After a careful analysis of the photoblog Humans of New York (HONY). I wrote a guide of their best practices, this will be showcased on my ePortfolio site in a different tab.

For the week of 11/22 I went on a search from a student who was willing to share their story and was unsuccessful. On 11/23 I created my first project reflection of where I was in my journey to completing the project. I worked on defining what success means in my project. My analysis of a successful photo shared via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Black Attire Aficionado is by tracking the amount of times a photo was likes, favorites, views, retweets, reblog/repost, comments, shareability on other platforms, and if other users share their stories because of the image. In the Prezi presentation, I compared the photoblog Humans of New York and StoryCorps. Humans of New York blog a by Brandon Stanton that shares stories through PHOTOS by providing these individuals with a voice and cultivates a new type of visual experience. On the other hand, StoryCorps is a non-profit by David Isay that provides Americans of backgrounds and all beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve their life story in a VIDEO. These two photojournalism outlets provides two unique ways in which a participant can share their stories. I reviewed several posts of HONY, many of these images receive over 200,000 views and over 20,000 comments. I was fascinated by the scope in which participants who shared their stories received comments from various strangers who had similar experiences. This completely solidified my reasons for my project on storytelling. I became even more inspired to recreate images similar to HONY. After several feedback from my professor and peers, I decided it was imperative to remove the video blog  StoryCorps from my suggested proposal. It did not serve any purpose because I was not creating a video along with the stories that would be shared via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Black Attire Aficionado. I chose to follow the feedback because it would help to clarify any confusions and make the project goal more clearly defined. As a result of all of the feedback the timeline will change to reflect the feedback.

For the week of 11/29 which has been my most successful week because I found an individual who was willing to share their story within the online community of Facebook, Twitter and I am still working on the WordPress post to my personal blog Black Attire Aficionado. Since posting the image, I have received 11 likes and three comments on Instagram with just using the hashtag (#HumansofNewYork). For the next coming days I will engage with other hashtags and see how they play a roll in user engagement and track how it is perceives via those social networking sites. This is a paramount part of my project because it will show the success how I am able to use the HONY best practices to recreate an image. During that week I tried to find students outside of my class to participate in the creation of ‚ÄúJodieann‚Äôs: Humans of New York,‚ÄĚ I was unsuccessful. I think many people were hesitant to the idea because they did not trust me or they were uncomfortable with the idea. My plan B was to ask several friends of mine and one of my dearest friends agreed to share his thoughts on loss. The question I proposed was ‚ÄúCan you share your thoughts on loss you have experienced?‚ÄĚ

Examples of Humans of New York post via:

Instagram :

Humans of New York Instagram

Humans of New York Instagram

Humans of New York Instagram

Humans of New York Instagram

 

His response:

Instagram:HONY

 

 

Facebook:

Jodieann's Human of New York Facebook

Jodieann’s Human of New York Facebook

 

WordPress: Black Attire Aficionado

 

 

 

ePortfolio

My ePortfolio site has not been updated since the last time I updated it partly because I like the simplicity of the site. I am partial to simplicity, it is who I am. However, my next steps for my ePortfolio is to update it with a new image since the one that I am currently using is not mine, it needs to be more organic. Over the weekend I captured several photos of flowers that I would like to be a part of my portfolio. I hope to make it as me as possible. I intend to update the site with a few more of projects I have completed as well as accolades.

Looking forward. . .

The next steps of my project will require me to be discipline in my approach to successfully completing this project on time. I will need to revisit the elements of the project such as the proposal, the new media composing experiment, project portfolio, begin practicing how to give a in-class presentation, work on the project reflection and  begin writing parts of the abstract.

After careful examination of my current deliverables it is important that I include another HONY image, one with a female narrative. I think it would be interesting to see how individuals react to different types of stories on loss from a woman’s point of view.

Next Steps

The next steps of the project is to chart the success of the image on Instagram, Facebook and WordPress by how I define success which is taking into consideration the definition of success that I defined earlier. I really look forward to the new approach that I will take towards this project.

 

The Presentation

Can Anyone Recreate a Humans of New York Image?

_____________________________________________________________________________

At what point in your life do you acknowledge defeat? The project for Writing with New Media has proven to be quite a challenge for me. I feel as if my heads are still in the clouds, I have not quite successfully articulated in my proposal how I expect to complete this project. It’s very much of challenge to clearly define my purpose of this project as well as the deliverables. I have gone back and forth with trying to clearly state my vision of this project, ¬†I think it is very much a work in progress. I feel that as I go along the project begins to manifest in a weird way. The project requires a lot of discipline¬†which I have not given anything in a while because I have been focused in various places. As a result, it is forcing to rethink my management skills and also how I tackle a project. In a weird way this project is changing the way I think about the word project, deliverables and purpose. It is affording me chance to rethink the way I execute a task. Specifically, how I analyze and synthesize a project brief. I did not use my time effectively in the first rounds of this project and now I am at a hard rock. It is a incredible frustrating point in my project journey but it is a point that I need to be in. With as this built up frustration and confusion and exhaustion it is given me a chance to reflect on who I have been all my life. It is now requiring me to change many of my bad habits. This project required me to clearly define a proposal with specific guidelines and I have veered off the track of my timeline. I am afraid this project will not be as successful as I hoped. Also, because I have veered off my timeline there are elements of my project that I need to rework and clearly state the intent of the project.

My proposed timeline I should have completed the work for the week of the 11/27 which was to create and explain the best practices for HONY brand. I was to analyze their practices and will try to successfully recreate their approach to sharing a story within the online community of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also to describe the image using the Visual Literacies Guidelines which I trying to see if it is still useful for the project.

For the week of 11/29 which has been my most successful week because I found an individual who was willing to share their story within the online community of Facebook, Twitter and I am still working on the WordPress post to my personal blog Black Attire Aficionado. Since posting the image, I have received 11 likes and three comments on Instagram with just using the hashtag (#HumansofNewYork). For the next coming days I will engage with other hashtags and see how they play a roll in user engagement and track how it is perceives via those social networking sites. This is a paramount part of my project because it will show the success how I am able to use the HONY best practices to recreate an image. During that week I tried to find students outside of my class to participate in the creation of “Jodieann’s: Humans of New York,” I was unsuccessful. I think many people were hesitant to the idea because they did not trust me or they were uncomfortable with the idea. My plan B was to ask several friends of mine and one of my dearest friends agreed to share his thoughts on loss. The question I proposed was “Can you share your thoughts on loss you have experienced?”

His response:

Instagram:

HONY

HONY

Facebook:

 

 

 

 

 

 

WordPress:

 

 

 

 

ePortfolio

My ePortfolio site has not been updated since the last time I updated it partly because I like the simplicity of the site. I am partial to simplicity, it is who I am. However, my next steps for my ePortfolio is to update it with a new image since the one that I am currently using is not mine, it needs to be more organic. Over the weekend I captured several photos of flowers that I would like to be a part of my portfolio. I hope to make it as me as possible. I intend to update the site with a few more of projects I have completed as well as accolades.

Looking forward. . .

The next steps of my project will require me to be discipline in my approach to successfully completing this project on time. I will need to revisit the elements of the project such as the proposal, the new media composing experiment, project portfolio, begin practicing how to give a in-class presentation, work on the project reflection and  begin writing parts of the abstract.

After careful examination of my current deliverables it is important that I include another HONY image, one with a female narrative. I think it would be interesting to see how individuals react to different types of stories on loss from a woman’s point of view.

Next Steps

The next steps of the project is to chart the success of the image on Instagram, Facebook and WordPress by how I define success which is taking into consideration the definition of success that I defined earlier. I really look forward to the new approach that I will take towards this project.

 

The Presentation

Can Anyone Recreate a Humans of New York Image?

 

Storytelling: The Road to Success *Revision 1*

Project Proposal

Topic: What Makes a Story Successful in Photojournalism?

Overview

All of us have a story to share, however, not many of us are afforded the chance to share their stories. Often times, many of us are silenced because of religion, sexual orientation or out of fear. And then there are those who find courage to share their stories. Today, many stories are widely shared online and are successful. My definition of success in photojournalism is the amount of times a photo has been liked on Instagram and Twitter and how viewers engage with the image whether it is by commenting, sharing the image or if they repost the image. A successfully received story online is one that makes viewers engage in the story. This image can be circulated through many different platforms such as Facebook, popular blog and can end up on the TV.

The development of new technologies has changed the way individuals share their stories. Traditional ways of sharing stories by publishing memoirs or being interviewed are not common these days. One of the way individuals share their stories is by participating in photo blogs such as Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton and StoryCorps by David Isay which has changed the narrative of photojournalism. 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. These sites allow viewers to engage with the stories by liking, sharing and commenting. Often times viewers are able to engage with the story on a deeper level. By exploring photojournalism within the blog Humans of New York, I will look specifically at how individuals share their stories on fear and how it presents a opportunity for viewers to engage with those stories. I will track how the image is shared, how many likes it received, how viewers engaged with it and if it was successful.

Objective

For this project, I will examine the blog Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton, a blog that shares stories which provides a new light on photojournalism and cultivates a new type of visual experience. Another blog I will examine is StoryCorps, a nonprofit that provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve their life story. I will review photos from Humans of New York and videos from StoryCorps that sheds light on fear. I want to analyze how they share their story and how viewers engaged with the image because it will help me to write my memoir.

In this project, I will explain the following:

  1. Why do people share their story?
  2. What makes a story successful?
  3. Can anyone make a successful story?

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.

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 a image¬†from Humans of New York that ‚Äúsuccessfully‚ÄĚ captures a story on fear

  • Examine the photo with the listed Visual Literacy Guideline
  • a.¬†Define the purpose of the image within the project (e.g., illustration, evidence, primary source, focus of analysis, critique, commentary)
    b. Define the scope (e.g., reach, audience) and environment (e.g., academic environment, open web) of the planned image use
    c. Articulates criteria that need to be met by the image (e.g., subject, pictorial content, color, resolution, specific item)
    d. Identifies key concepts and terms that describe the needed image
    e. Identifies discipline-specific conventions for image use
  • How did the image and content successfully or unsuccessfully 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.) Review videos from StoryCorps that ‚Äúsuccessfully‚Ä̬†captures a story on fear

Examine the photo with the listed Visual Literacy Guideline

  • a.¬†Define the purpose of the image within the project (e.g., illustration, evidence, primary source, focus of analysis, critique, commentary)
    b. Define the scope (e.g., reach, audience) and environment (e.g., academic environment, open web) of the planned image use
    c. Articulate criteria that need to be met by the image (e.g., subject, pictorial content, color, resolution, specific item)
    d. Identifies key concepts and terms that describe the needed image
    e. Identifies discipline-specific conventions for image use
  • How did the image and content successfully or unsuccessfully tell the story?

Week of the 29th

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

B.) Prospect

  • Interview a prospect on the subject of fear and share a photo with a caption similar to Humans of New York which will we shared via Instagram
  • Instagram‚Äď The image will be tracked daily on¬†Instagram, by recording how many likes it received, how many comments it received and whether it was remixed.
  • Twitter‚Äď The image will be tracked daily on¬†Twitter by recording how many times it was viewed, how many retweets it received or how many times it was favorited.
  • WordPress-The image will be tracked daily on¬†Black Attire Aficionado¬† by recording how many times it was viewed, how many times it was reblogged it received and how many times it was favorited.

Week of the 6th

A.) Explain the findings on what makes a image successful

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

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

Deliverables

  1. A comparative analysis of Humans of New York and StoryCorps
  2. A image created that mirrors Human of New York, this will be located on Instagram,Twitter, and Black Attire Aficionado
  3. A reflection of my success or failure with creating a image
  4. 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 TBD

 

 

Project Project Blog-Round 1

At first, the final project for Writing with New Media seemed like this big pile of confusion. I completely misunderstood the entire project, I was lost in translation.¬†I started to toy with a few ideas and then I went off the wrong path and landed into a ball of confusion and frustration. My initial project proposal was surrounded on the idea of visual rhetoric and culture and¬†new technologies has led to the creation of¬†various online communities which play a role in shaping visual rhetoric and culture. I wanted to examine how many individuals used photos as a way to use visual rhetoric/ visual storytelling to quantify themselves. I wanted to explore if photos needed content and if different cultures play a role in how we interpret images. Specifically, I wanted to probe the question “Has our cultural beliefs affected the way we interpret a image and why does it affect the way the see a image? I believe that many of these images has shaped the way we see the world and it has been reinforced by¬†new media and leads to misinterpretation. My contention was that phycology, environmental factors, traumatic events, fear, and age are major factors that play a role in how our psyche interprets an image. ¬†Although this seemed like a phenomenal topic to explore, it was not what the project asked for. What I was imaging was a complex psychology topic which would require world class¬†psychologist and a massive research center. Again that was not the project. I started to get frustrated and shut down.

Then take 2. For the second revision I tried to revise the project using the same idea– not a good idea. In revision number two, I approached the question “Can Photojournalism Changes Our Biases?” This was just like the first proposal, it was more of a proposed theory, there was no practical deliverables for the project. This one was even more emotional based because it would require a psychoanalysis of what happens to me when I review a image and if it changes my biases. Again this was not the assignment.¬† Slowly but surely, I realized that I wanted my project to center around the ideas of photojournalism and storytelling. Once I discovered that these ideas could potentially blossom into something unique, I ran with it.¬†The next stop of the project was to find sources that supported my idea that I was still nurturing. The annotated bibliography gave me a chance to dig deeper into research that would support my ideas. Within my research that I composed because of the annotated bibliography, it was made clear to me that I wanted to explore how individuals¬†are able to successfully share their stories via new social media platforms and have a voice for the first time. This project is meaningful to me because by learning what makes a story successful will contribute to my memoir. I intend to publish a memoir in my early 40s, and if I can learn the ins and outs now– it will be very successful.

Now that I have gathered together my¬†proposal, I am waiting for it to be approved and then I can get moving. Looking forward I want to begin my work on the week of the 15th because I am very much behind. I need to begin researching the photo blog Humans of New York and clearly define its mission statement. I will analyze a image that successfully captures the ideal storytelling in a photo from the blog then analyze it deeper by using the visual literacies guideline. Also, I’d like to begin writing¬†parts of my reflection piece.

Goal checking- to successfully stick to the timeline that I’ve carved out for myself.

Does Circulation and Multimodality Define Success of Media?

For the success of any media whether digital or not there needs to be an adequate amount of circulation in order to actively categorize the media as successful. Upon creation of the media the author understand that there must be an attention generating or grabbing component. This component is what increased the chances for circulation. Take for example, the Pepe The Frog Meme, it was created and within a matter of days had spread as far as being adapted into various other scenarios than the first intentional creation. Which also leads me to the point which stipulated that circulation promotes multimodality.

Multimodality is not only the composition of different forms of media, but as I see it ¬†the expansion and recreation of a media into various forms (also can be interpreted as remixes). Both, circulation and multimodality promote and invite an audience in both a social and economic aspect. You have to think of it this way, a print billboard in a dark alley with little to no foot traffic with gain no attention and will not circulate the advertisement however, at the same a billboard in a bright and rather well lit area with enough foot traffic could also face the same problem if the intended media does not generation attention and invites participation also known as the circulation of said media. As mentioned in, Laurie E. Greis’s, Iconographic Tracking: A Digital Research Method for Visual Rhetoric and¬†Circulation¬†Studies, states that, “Studying an image’s eventfulness is also necessary for addressing the complexities of visual production, distribution, and circulation brought on by a viral economy.” (pg 335) In other words, the media itself allows entails the strategies for both commercial use and social experimentation.

In both, Hanfer and Jones, and Cohen and Kenny it became apparent to me that the way by which we sell our creations online is by corresponding to the demands and the usage of our intended online users– marketing and advertising 101, but what is not so obvious is in as mentioned ¬†in Hanfer and Jones the concept of, “Interaction and Involvement” (pg 61). With Web 2.0 came the revolution of users interaction and involvement in online subject matter, “The producer of an image can draw on a range of techniques in order to engage and involve their audience, express power relations, and express modality (how truthful something is…” (pg 61). Here we see how there is a manipulation of sorts in order to promote and circulate a media. As producers of media we play on peoples emotions, strengths, weaknesses, fears, and joys in order to promote and circulate our work. All in the same, ¬†Cohen and Kenny’s chapter, which also is systemic in the sense that it allows their audience to carefully understand the do’s and don’ts of producing a successful meme exemplifies the idea that as creators we must be able to chose wisely how we promote our work in such a way that it circulates and generates noise– in a good way.

We as producers, authors, and writers must understand that the way by which we share our work and enter it into an online society subjects it to the  scrutiny of fame or failure. The success of a media in my interpretation is analyzes and addresses the needs and wants of an audience but does so in a way that it generates equal social  and economic circulation which eventually allows the creation of new and extensions of that said media. Circulation is a vital part to any media as it is to our body. As it is in our body the exchange allows to grow and reap benefits and so too does this component online.