Who inspires me as a photojournalist?
Everyone else in my class will be talking about famous news anchors and freelance writers I’m sure they religiously follow. I debated doing the same thing myself until I realized I genuinely don’t care too much about any news anchors or freelance writers. I follow travel bloggers and photographers more religiously than i do anything else (besides, I would be able to even name a news anchor or reporter if my life depended on it… Sorry Rob).
So I’m going to talk about my favourite photographer, Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz revolutionized photography at the turn of the century; he used his photos to make a social and economic statement (including the photo I’ve included in this article, entitled The Steerage). He showed people the world they lived in through blunt and new eyes, and that’s what I admire so much about him.
Not only that, but he proved photography was still an art even when society at the time (in the mid-twenties) was beginning to believe that the camera did all the work. To show those people they were wrong, Stieglitz took a series of photos of clouds – just clouds – and still used lighting and camera techniques to make the image stunning.
His photos also told stories. He is known very famously for taking portraits of his wife, and my favourite painter, Gerogia O’Keefe. What made the images of her so interesting to audiences is the fact she always looked like she was hiding something, or had a secret to tell. Like I said, his photos told his audience stories, and they made people curious as to the person or background that was involved in his photography.
There are several other photojournalists working for National Geographic that I admire, but Alfred Stieglitz takes the cake and holds a special place in my heart as my favourite photographer. I’ve done several projects on him back in high school, and I even experimented with taking photography in accordance to his style. I’m sad to say I don’t believe I did him any justice, but I’m always up for the challenge of trying again.
I think the biggest reason I admire Stieglitz so much is because he changed the world of photojournalism while he was alive. He took these photographs with the intent of telling a story without even realizing that one day it would be referred to as photojournalism and that he would have inspired millions of young photojournalists like myself. While many photographers of his era were trying to capture a moment in time, Stieglitz was trying to capture an emotion, or make a political statement, or show people the economy they lived in with a clear division. And the most amazing thing is that he did all of this lacking the technology we have today in the 21st century, and his photos are still some of the greatest photos ever taken.
Link to a gallery to view more of his photos for anyone interested: http://www.leegallery.com/alfred-stieglitz/photography/