Those are some of the first words ever said to me by my mentor in News Photography (I despise the term ‘videography’), Leonard Judd.
This is a picture he took the bitterly cold morning after the Upstage Dinner Theater fire on January 16, 1977.
He had spent the night shooting footage and the next morning he just happened to have his 35mm camera with him and grabbed this frame.
When I first started shooting TV News, I was greener than Ireland. Leonard would come watch one of my stories with me and he would turn the sound competely off. No reporter’s track, no soundbites, no noise. He said if I did my job well enough, he could tell what the story was about with just what I shot. Pictures have that power.
What do see in your mind when I say “Hindenburg Disaster”; “V-J Kiss Times Square”; “Tiananmen Square”; “Marilyn Monroe”; or “Iwo Jima”?
Photographs, motion pictures, paintings and other forms of art make us feel. They can soothe our soul, outrage us or engrage us but always engage us.
When you are telling your story or giving your presentation addressing a room of 5 or 5000, why just rely on graphics, charts and words puked onto on a screen?
There’s a reason they say a picture is worth a thousand words…because it is. Find what works to get your message across and determine what emotions you want your audience to share and take them down that road visually, using the words from your mouth to augment what they see to truly paint your message in thier head.
The world is your canvas.