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Editors, Story Sequence & Big events

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A sequence of pictures can show a story unfolding and therefore tell that story better than a single image can do. Very often, the editor will want to use the last picture like the punchline of a joke, using it bigger than the rest, so that the early pictures give the background to the main news, which is shown in the final climax picture. Be prepared when news is happening in front of you to keep taking one picture after another, in rapid succession, so that you may have a good sequence.

In any case, whether you have used only one frame or 30, the photos must be developed or downloaded as soon as you return to the newsroom. If you are using film, it should not sit in your camera for several days, waiting for you to finish the roll, while the news becomes old; you may as well use all the film on the current assignment.

A big event, like an independence anniversary celebration, may well need many photographs to tell the whole story. Such an event will probably be too diverse to be captured in one picture.

At these times you will need to look for pictures of all the types listed above. You will want a picture of the moment the flag flies out of the hands of the soldier, perhaps; a picture of the proud and emotional face of a person in national dress looking up at the flag as it is raised, to epitomize the nationalism of the day; lots of pictures of people, of both high and low rank; a picture of a drunk collapsed under a tree; funny incidents; happy children.

All aspects of human life are there on these big occasions, and it is the job of the news photographer to capture them all. And don’t forget that many big days are not happy – for example, Hiroshima Day in Japan – or maybe sorrowful for some people in the society.

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