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Study Photojournalism Techniques

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Today, both fashion and glamour photographers are employing more photojournalistic styles, producing images that stand strong and often make statements. I've been fortunate enough to have almost thirty years of photojournalism experience that often kicks in when I'm photographing glamour models. If you don't have this type of training, I recommend that you study photojournalistic images by looking through news magazines and observing what you see printed in your local paper.

A great book I highly recommend, old but still available, is The Picture: An Associated Press Guide to Good News Photography (Associated Press, 1989). It's thin, concise, and lays it out like a dictionary. This book covers terms used to describe photojournalistic styles of photography, which are becoming more popular in photography today, and also helps give you ideas for your poses and styling of the set.

A term that most photographers without photojournalism training do not know is juxtaposition. In juxtaposition, a photojournalist tries to add a second element in the frame to help tell the story or sometimes just to add something funny or even serious. In glamour photography, this can be applied by keeping the main focus on the actual glamour subject, but adding another model, sign, or element to enhance the story. Normally, this element will be out of focus to prevent distraction.

Still another term used in photojournalism is the picture story. While every image tells a picture story, sometimes a series of glamour photos can tell a story too. Normally, I approach all my shoots like a picture story and previsualize various poses and scenarios to accomplish that feat. This often includes a headshot, three-quarter shot, bust-up shot, and some type of shot emphasizing more of the back of the model.

Photojournalists are trained to get the shot in any situation to keep their eyes open and constantly be looking for ways to tell stories through images. In glamour photography (and many other genres), these skills are also invaluable and well worth fostering.

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—The JPG team

11 responses

  • Ray Kenn

    Ray Kenn gave props (25 Nov 2008):

    Another winner, well done!

  • Matt Jarvis

    Matt Jarvis said (25 Nov 2008):

    Juxtaposition is actually when there are two conflicting points of focus, something that makes you look at each point of focus (distracting) and see a relationship.

  • Rolando Gomez

    Rolando Gomez   said (26 Nov 2008):

    Actually it depends on the context used, as there is also juxtaposed, and juxtapose, or to place close together or side by side, esp. for comparison or contrast. Photojournalist tend to look at it from the contrast of two objects to each other in an image, usually one compliments or contrasts the other. Again, these are just my thoughts and based on 30-years experience as a professional photojournalist and photographer. Thanks, rg sends!

  • Zerina Phillip

    Zerina Phillip said (27 Nov 2008):

    Well done. Thanks for the information. I read a lot and look at photos in the news. I don't do much glamour. I love the candid shots. Got my vote.

  • William Garvey

    William Garvey gave props (27 Nov 2008):

    Wow Rolando! Great stuff... I like it.

  • Neil Maclean

    Neil Maclean gave props (7 Oct 2009):

    Interesting story

  • Frank Summers

    Frank Summers   gave props (9 Oct 2009):

    Very Nice...Got my Vote!

  • David Grabbe

    David Grabbe gave props (14 Oct 2009):

    Thanks for sharing...

  • William Tracy

    William Tracy said (23 May 2010):

    Excellent story, and so, so true!!!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (24 May 2010):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

  • ajtiM

    ajtiM (Deleted) said (20 Dec 2010):

    excellent work!

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