Capturing emotion in your photos 6/20/17

By Lara Strydom, SNPA intern
They say a picture says a thousand words. And that is ultimately the challenge with photojournalism: finding a picture that can tell the story before the audience even reads the article. Thus, capturing the true emotion behind a photo is an essential part of telling the story, according to two-time SNPA Photo contest winner, Stephen Thornton. He is a former photographer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock.

Enter the SNPA Photo/Video Contest

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"One of my great college professors said it this way, 'Don't show me what somebody does, but show me how somebody feels about what they do.' That's kind of my mantra," Thornton said. "I don't want to show people building a garden, I want to show how people feel building the garden. I want to try to convey their thoughts and emotion, their mental drive about their project. I want to show that visually."

But finding the emotion that conveys the true depths of a story is not always easy. One of the greatest obstacles photojournalists face is creating photos that don't look posed. The key to avoiding that and creating a natural feel lies in making sure that the subject is able to feel comfortable.

"At some point they'll trust you to be in the room, and long enough to where they forget that you're there," Thornton said. "That's always a magical moment for me: when I realize that nobody is attending to the big city newspaper photographer anymore, but they're just going on about their life." MORE

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Keys to an exceptional story: photography and trust 6/13/17

By Lara Strydom, SNPA intern

Although it is widely known that the journalism world is finding more and more new ways to deliver news, Stephen Thornton still sees photography as an irreplaceable outlet for telling stories. Thornton is a two-time SNPA Photo/Video Contest Grand Prize winner and a former photographer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock.

Enter the SNPA Photo/Video Contest.

Deadline for entries is June 24.

"I still think the still image is the most powerful tool to convey emotions and a pure moment in time," Thornton says.

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