Ideas. This has been the most reoccuring themes of this trip.
This morning we went to the Wall Street Journal and talked with the DOP Jack Van Antwerp. He talked to us about the history of the WSJ and how it has been using pictures in its recent history.
One of the things he talked about was having ideas. Pictures have to be good, but there are so many good pictures and photographers out there. It’s not enough to have a pretty picture. You have to have good ideas. Mr. Van Antwerp talked about how the WSJ constantly tries either cover stories no one else has done or further stories that already have been done. They want their images to do the same.
Next we met with Santiago Lyon, the DOP of the AP. He showed us around their headquarters and then showed us a slideshow of some of the recent conflict images that their photographers had created. He said that it was important to be a generalist, but it was also important to have a specialty in photography. Mr. Lyon stressed how important it was to have the right attitude. Egos need to be checked at the door. The AP, and most other places, run well with teamwork. Another piece of advice he gave us was that people will take you at your own estimation. If you think you are a bad photographer, they will think the same thing. At the same time, if you think you are the hottest thing out there, they won’t believe you.
Finally, we went to Human Rights Watch. We talked with Emma Daly. She said that photographs can play a large part in convincing policy makers to take action in areas that HRW says needs improvement.