The London Evening Standard’s award winning photographer, Jeremy Selwyn, doesn’t need to speak very much – his photos do the talking for him.
His photographs got the nation talking a lot during the last year; engaged us with everything from the Heathrow expansion plans, to the poppy display at Tower Hill on Armistice Day.
However, in this age of multimedia news, just how important is the humble photograph in telling a story?
Jeremy said: “it’s not just that a picture is worth a thousand words but without pictures, articles can be boring!
“I feel that a still picture can capture a moment, a video will record a scene.”
According to Jeremy, a memorable photo, is one that gains the greatest media exposure.
He added that it’s not necessarily a fantastic picture but one widely published across the media.
He said: “I took the picture of Ed Miliband eating a bacon sandwich and it’s now known to everybody because of its exposure.”
However, he cautioned aspiring journalists against simply taking photographs just to get their name in the paper.
“Think about the story first,” he advised.
Jeremy advised that the key skill to being a photojournalist is to have good news sense.
He added: “it is the ability to see that picture you want to take on a news story before you take it, helps you react quickly to a story.”
Jeremy’s photojournalism career has spanned almost 30 years and he has no intention of stopping.
He said: “I love photojournalism as it gives a photographer a voice and power to show a point of view.
“I’m so lucky to work for a newspaper that publishes my pictures and my ideas.”
Until I began the NCTJ course, I did not appreciate the importance of attaching a photograph to a print article or tweet.
Six months into the course and I have very quickly learned that the photograph can make the difference between whether a story is read or disappears into the Twitter ether.
More importantly, photos carry an objective quality that words cannot.
So when a story is accompanied by a photo, we are invited to decide what the truth is rather than being dictated to about what we should believe it is.
There are ongoing debates about the future of journalism, given the rise of ‘citizen journalism’ and the fact that many of us have mobile phone cameras.
Photojournalists are in a privileged position, as they can almost instantaneously record a true and fair view of what is at the heart of a story.
It helps to foster understanding in communities and society is richer for it.
What does Jeremy say to those who argue that journalism is dead, or dying?
“Journalism is not dead; it’s still evolving!” he replied.