Week #8: Make a Statement

To be shot and submitted between Sunday, Feb 15 and Sunday, Feb 22 (noon, Eastern)

Cameras are powerful tools. They are used not just to make art, but to make a statement.

This week, we’re going to get on our soapboxes and proclaim our convictions to the world! Think of something that you believe in; take note of your deepest values. What do you hold most dear? Freedom of speech, democracy, protecting the planet, education, helping the poor, civil rights, literacy, clean water, hope, beauty standards, creativity… Try to get out of your comfort zone and dig deep within yourself.

Next, try to figure out a way to make your statement with your camera! How can you choose your models, your setting, your framing, your processing to best convey your idea. Perhaps you want to make a statement about overcrowding in school. Can you get 3 kids to sit at a chair in a classroom? Have a teacher’s desk overflowing with apples? Show a teacher drowning in a sea of papers to complete?

The best photographic statements require little – if any – explanatory text. So, try to keep yourstatement to the picture itself, and not in the caption. Allow the viewers to interpret your message, but make sure to give them enough clues along the way.

Choose your subject. Create your scene. Click.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words – so let’s see this principle in action!

Tips and Tuts for this week:

 

  • Introducing, for the very first time, a link to our own 52Frames blog! In our “7 Steps to go from Good to Great” blog post, we discuss how to train your eye to take more dramatic shots. This is a great resource if you are looking to take a more dramatic ‘statement‘ this week.
  • Bridal photos making a statement about divorce? Newlyweds making a statement about pollution in China?
  • Advice on Photojournalism from a Pulitzer Prize Winner. See below for more Extra Credit information.
Need some inspiration? Check out, once again, our favorite avenue for inspiration. Train your eye and spot the relevant photos of the bunch. See if you can identify the statement that photographer is making.

Extra Credit: “Photojournalism”

Photojournalism is a subset of journalism that uses images to tell a story about current events. Photojournalists train their cameras on the news stories around them to cut right to the heart of the matter. The subject could be as pedestrian as a local election or as epic as a battlefield. Take a look at the news stories in your local community and see if you can put on your “press hat” to capture the photo in a way a newspaper would want to showcase on their front page. 

Again, there’s no need to start a war to find a dramatic shot! Think of the pressing issues  in your neighborhood – pollution, homelessness, PTA elections, whatever – and find, and demonstrate, the natural drama in the story.

Take a look at this slideshow of Time Magazine’s best photojournalism from 2014.

Again, it is not necessary to work in this Extra Credit piece. It’s extra credit!