Editorial photo basics – How to come up with new ideas • This post is dedicated to inspire, suggest ideas and provide a sort of guide for choosing the area which you want to focus on and start creating your features. Here’s below two images of an overview and examples of issues.
❉ Read your local newspapers and news websites. Read what they focus on, what the “hot” topics are, what kind of comments people use to post. Try to understand what people want to read and find out what their interests are. Take a look at the photographs accompanying the articles, the photo galleries and the photo essays.
❉ Focus on topics that you know. That you experienced and know very well, that you are able to handle perfectly.
❉ Focus on topics that you love or you feel close to. That you enjoy and would like to study or examine in depth (it’s not necessary a previous extensive knowledge). Discover new points of view.
❉ Experience travel photography and foreign cultures. Be prepared before travelling. Collect information about local traditions, events, particular places, festivities, recent events “still hot”. Be aware of what you shoot.
Easter procession in Chichicastenango, Guatemala
❉ Build a network of contacts. Be curious. Listen and befriend reliable people that, as a result of their job, their attitude, the places they are used to hang out at, are a source of news and can provide you solid information (from the press office to a trustworthy taxi driver, for instance).
❉ Everyone has a story. People you know (or you want to know) that are important or popular in the local communities. Authorities, celebrities, common persons, artists, workers, anyone who can tell a story, something particular, or funny, or unusual, or curious, or remarkable, or mysterious etc.
❉ Surveys. Talk to people, ask what their burning issues are, what they would like to see changed. Which topics they consider current. Which local news they would like to know more about.
❉ Choose projects developed by the local authorities of your town or region. For example, a new kindergarten, a new park, a new transport service, a new initiative to clean up the streets, a new rule against the pollution, new tax advantages to get a new car, etc.
❉ Remember and return to recent history (for instance, what happened a year ago).
❉ People you know: cover stories that highlight that they are everyday “heroes”. Non-famous people that are ordinary at first glance, but they do extraordinary things everyday.
❉ Place emphasis on local stories that make you proud of your town, country, community, etc. For example, records, achievements, valuable initiatives, sense of place, traditions, being top listed in important ant rankings, etc.
❉ Consider rubbish, recycling, environment, green trends developed in your community (both good and bad examples). Any excellence? Or problems? Or new technologies? Are there local projects? Are the citizens involved in some projects? Did any odd events happen?
❉ Be focused on food. Discover the traditions, new trends, new dishes, new restaurants, new styles, new chef, new products, new habits about health, nutrition, diet, superfood, etc.
_ Remember that the photos shouldn’t only be aesthetically pleasing, but they do have to tell and show a story, a topic, an event in an effective, comprehensive, thorough way.
_ It is essential that the features are based on actual facts, real things. Or statistics and data. They must be verified information. You can’t make up or misrepresent reality.
_ Make sure that you can come back on site and shoot again, whenever you want.