on photojournalism, witnessing through images, and a giveaway


There are obviously many different types of photography -- portrait, landscape, wedding, maternity -- but I have to say that the type of photography that I find myself most intrigued by (and the type that I really would love to improve myself) is photojournalism.  I love the idea of photography as a way of witnessing.  Happily, some of my favourite photojournalists are people who I consider real life friends.

Morgana Wingard was the official photographer on my trip to Kenya, and her photographs from Africa and Asia always take my breath away.

My friend Stephanie Roberts conveys more emotion in one photograph than I feel like I can capture in my entire body of work.   In addition to her still images, she does wonderful video work, and the following is one of my favourite things she's ever done, interviewing a young musician in Rwanda:

Then there's Ryan Youngblood, the official videographer on my trip to Ethiopia and a relatively new friend.  He claims he's not a photographer (he totally is), but I don't care: his imagery is astounding (and I know I've shared this video with you before, but I love it):

And then, there's the amazing Xanthe Berkeley.  Xanthe also has this amazing facility for light and storytelling, but I think what I love about her is that she proves you don't have to go to a developing country in order to create compelling images and tell resonating stories.  She has recently started putting together time capsules -- basically, they're photojournalistic films made of stills and video that tell quiet, beautiful stories.

Here's one she did on 12.12.12:

All four of these artists are inspiring me to use my photography to tell more of a story:  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I'm hoping to up my photography game this year, but I wasn't sure how; lately, I'm thinking that I want to focus on storytelling.  It might be stills or it might be video, but in any event, I need to push myself to do something.

More on that to come.

Incidentally, if you're interested in using your photography with video to tell stories, Xanthe has an in-depth course that starts January 22nd, called A JOURNEY, which looks amazing (I've taken one of her earlier time capsule courses, and she's a wonderful, gentle instructor).  She's kindly offered to let me give away a place in this upcoming course to one lucky commenter, so just leave a comment below, saying anything you'd like, and I'll pick a winner Thursday night to join her course.

I'll be in the course too -- we can do it together! -- and I'll be sure to share what I put together here on Chookooloonks (although I'm admittedly terrified to do so).

Good luck!   

UPDATE:  According to Random.org, the winner of the spot in Xanthe's upcoming course is Francine, who commented, "Those videos are totally inspiring and the class looks awesome! I've been wanting to do more with video this year, so this is timely!"  Congrats, Francine!  I'll contact you off-blog to get all your information.

And thanks to all of you for participating.  For those who still want to attend Xanthe's course, you can click here for registration!