Learning from the World Press Photo of the Year (Part 2 of 2)

March 3, 2016

Yesterday, we blogged on Warren Richardson’s winning World Press Photo of the Year for 2015, a powerful image of refugees crossing the border from Serbia into Hungary in August 2015. As we wrote yesterday, the photograph’s star qualities do more than heightening attention of the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, but also provide a valuable lesson in how we can become better at visual storytelling.

We here at Resource Media study winning individual images, photo essays and videos to learn from the “best of the best” and their ability to capture people’s imagination, serve as a wake-up call, or to motivate some sort of societal change. Read yesterday’s post to learn what we thought made freelance photojournalist Warren Richardson’s photo of refugees stand out amid so many other incredible photographs submitted in the global contest.

If you are looking to up your game in taking captivating photos that tell a story, or to curate a batch of photos from a photographer you hire, spend some time sifting through top documentary photos in Photo District News or at the Sony World Photography Awards by the World Photography Organization.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What was it about their photo that grabbed and held your attention?
  • How did they use a story to transport you in time and space to the event they photographed?
  • What emotion was captured in a particular photo?
  • What made it so riveting?
  • What made your eyes linger on it a bit longer than you normally would?
  • How did the photographer take what could have been a completely ordinary scene and make it interesting?

Jot a few notes down to remind yourself of what can set your photos apart from the crowd the next time you are “on assignment.”

You can read and view Richardson’s entire photo essay on the flight of the refugees and their efforts to cross from Serbia into Hungary here.

Liz Banse