Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Seeing the Light

Slow down. Try to relax. Look at your subject. Really see them. Arizona Republic/azcentral.com staff photographer Rob Schumacher (shown at left) addressed members of the 2010 ASNE Reynolds Institute on Tuesday to discuss the basics of digital photography.

During the session, Schumacher stressed the importance of planning in advance and really seeing the whole picture when taking a photo.

“Luck is a residue of preparation and skill,” said Schumacher. “Have the pieces lined up and put them together as it happens.”

As I thought about this, I realized how important it is to have my students plan ahead when preparing to take their photos. Currently the way my phojo class works is the photographers are given an assignment, and they go out and shoot it…wow…what a disservice to my students. No wonder they consistently come back with photos that don’t truly capture the story of the event.

I have always seen the importance of story planning when preparing a news story, but why did I miss this concept when planning photo coverage? Schumacher really opened my eyes to the important role of planning for those perfect shots. I always knew professional photographers were good because they were at the right place at the right time, but I never realized how much planning is involved in being at the right place at the right time.

Hopefully with the ideas learned from Schumacher today, I will help my students get that perfect shot more than once in a blue moon.

Laura Schwinn

Emporia High School

Emporia, Kan.


  1. You are so right Laura. I'll have students plan and plan for a story, but then I'll just send them out with a camera sometimes with no sense of direction. How we would benefit from taking the time to anticipate a shot.