1. Teach for America

    “There’s a lot of potential for storytelling and it doesn’t just have to come from a news organization.” –Megan Rossman, Director of Video

    Teach for America is a nonprofit organization that sends recent college graduates as teachers to low-income school districts. We met with two RIT alumnae, Megan Rossman, director of video, and Prisca Edwards, video assistant. They are constantly producing story-telling videos about the program and it’s affects around the nation.

    Rossman offered us a lot of useful advice about the production process. She showed us a completed storyboard from a recent project and explained every step of the process, starting with a commitment statement or “North Star” to guide the narrative arc. She also talked about interview techniques for getting impactful quotes. “You’ll always be more successful if you ask feeling questions,” she said. Excited about the currently changing market, Rossman encouraged us to pitch new positions to companies and make a case for ourselves. And finally, she reminded us that we can pull inspiration from anywhere


  2. ABCNews.com

    At ABCnews.com, we met Kate Bubacz, senior photo editor and RIT alumna. She showed us their website newsroom and television newsroom, part of two separate departments. It was interesting to hear how different ABCNews.com is from the other news organizations we are visiting, since they do not work with photographers. The photo desk at ABCnews.com is comprised of photo editors that use paparazzi and news wire services, social media, and affiliates to find photographs. Bubacz gave us tips on networking and gaining experience. She encouraged us to take every opportunity we could and to make ourselves available whenever possible.


  3. New York, New York. April 15, 2014. 


  4. Bloomberg

    “That’s all you have as a journalist, your integrity.” – Graham Morrison 

    Visiting the Bloomberg headquarters was quite an experience. The building is impressive, but more importantly, symbolizes the company’s mission of transparency since all of the offices and conference rooms have glass walls. We met with Graham Morrison, head of the photo department for the Americas, and Scott Eells, chief photographer. 

    Each of them started by telling us about their prior work experience and reminded us that they were once in our positions, which I really appreciated. They described the skill and creativity required to make photographs for their business and financial news stories, recognizing that is it not an easy product to illustrate. They reiterated the idea of smart placement when considering where to freelance.  Morrison said that it was very important to know who your client is and to be particular with what type of work you show them. He suggested proposing a story specifically for them.


  5. Jack Van Antwerp at the Wall Street Journal. New York, NY. April 15, 2014. 


  6. The Wall Street Journal

    “The world is our beat.” –Jack Van Antwerp, Director of Photography

    We started off our second day in New York City at the Wall Street Journal. Jack Van Antwerp, the Director of Photography, is an RIT alumnus. Van Antwerp showed us around the newsroom as he told us about the Journal’s photography department, which is only six years old. 

    Van Antwerp stressed the importance of being able to shoot video. He said, “the demand for still photography has decreased but the demand for storytelling has exponentially increased.” Since it is now so easy for the average person to take photos, being able to tell a story visually has become the skill news organizations look for. Van Antwerp explained that we have an “expanded palette of tools” and emphasized how important it is that we learn them all. We also discussed the necessity of accurate captions. “A great photograph with thin or no caption information is almost not usable,” Van Antwerp said.

    Along with two of his photo editors, Van Antwerp encouraged us to “think regionally” if we want to work as a freelance photographer. He explained that markets like New York and Los Angeles are oversaturated with photographers, but there are areas of the country with very few photojournalists. News organizations like the Wall Street Journal will hire a locally-based freelancer for assignments. The key is to keep in touch with editors that you want to work for, so we discussed the best ways to network. Van Antwerp and his editors said to always send new work when you email them, to be persistence but not too much and to show the work you want to get.


  7. New York, New York. April 15, 2014


  8. Human Rights Watch

    The second stop on our trip took us to the Empire State Building. We headed up the Human Rights Watch to meet with Emma Daly, the communications director. Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit organization that conducts research and advocates for human rights in approximately 90 countries. 

    Daly shared with us some of their recent publications, including Capitol Offense, a report about the police mishandling of sexual assault cases in Washington, D.C. The DC Council recently adopted a bill to reform the police practices in handling sexual assault cases, which included all of the recommendations made by the Human Rights Watch. This report also included a video component, where survivors talk about the way police interactions made them feel victimized. Daly talked about how impactful it is to hear the survivors talk about the issues themselves. Video has the power to confront officials while the reports have the research to back it up. “We believe that exposure is what helps to push for change,” said Daly.

    “Wrong doing by the US is thrown in our face again and again as justification for other country’s actions around the world,” said Daly as she explain how important it was that they hold the United States accountable. It was great to hear how much the Human Rights Watch values visual journalism. Daly said when they are looking for photographers, they want someone who is able to understand the issue, tell the story and do so with talent and empathy. Since beginning my work with refugees, I have become very interested in documenting human rights issues so this visit really inspired me.

  9. Central Park, New York City. April 14, 2014


  10. The Associated Press

    The RIT NYC Photojournalism Trip began at The Associated Press (AP) Headquarters. AP is a nonprofit news agency that is owned by it’s contributing news publications. They employ staff photographers and freelancers in the US and around the world.

    We met with Santiago Lyon, Vice President and Director of Photography. He gave us a brief tour, beginning with a wall of photos dedicated to all of the employees that had died on the job since the AP was founded in 1846 including the newest addition, Anja Niedringhaus. Later when showing us a selection of her work, Lyon said, “She showed a great deal of compassion for her subjects and you can see that in her work…Her resilience and determination was incredible.”

    We were able to see the newsroom and were fortunate enough to be able to attend their daily global news meeting. The morning meeting included news desks from all over the world. They discussed all of the news they were working on, including the missing Malaysian flight, the upcoming anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing and the Pulitzer Prize announcements. I noticed that for every story, the editor was asked whether or not they had visuals to accompany the article.

    After the meeting, Lyon spoke to us about what he looks for in photographers. “Presentation is very important as it shows pride in your work,” he said. He also stressed the importance of “photographic yoga”, saying photographers need to be technically fit and flexible so that they are capable of making good photographs in any situation. I thought some of his most valuable advice was about editing large bodies of work. I’m constantly shooting and editing work for my New Roots project. “Photograph with passion, but edit dispassionately,” said Lyon, meaning you must not be attached to photos as you edit.

    I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a global newsroom and loved hearing all of the advice Lyon had to offer. 


  11. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. April 14, 2014


  12. The RIT Photojournalism New York City Trip

    Every spring, the junior class of photojournalism students ventures to New York City to visit leaders in the visual journalism community. I remember being quite impressed when I heard about this trip when I first applied to RIT. I’ve finally reached my junior year and for the next week, I will be blogging about the places we visit, people we meet and experiences we have.


  13. Lyell & Monroe. April 8th, 2014.

    For rochester31 


  14. Currently collaborating on a multimedia project with nikiwalkerphotography on the perceptions of the city and suburbs along NYS Route 31 in Rochester, New York. The Thirty One blog welcomes submissions from the community! 


  15. I know that I want my children to grow up with an understanding of diversity and a firsthand knowledge what it means to live in community. They say it takes a village to raise a child.  I want to do more than just say it; I want my child to live it.  Anything less, just doesn’t make sense.” -Joe from The Little Flower Community, a housing cooperative in the Beechwood neighborhood of Rochester, NY