Day Three: Visual Storytelling

On Visual Storytelling Day, students had to take portraits of each other. Emil Liden took this portrait of Austin Kuo during the lesson.

On the third day of News Reporter Academy at the University of St. Thomas College of Arts and Sciences, the students met a trifecta of powerful visual storytellers in the Twin Cities.

Star Tribune Photographer Jerry Holt kicked the day off with a photography class and gave students pointers on pictures they captured around the campus. He also shared what it’s like to work as a news photographer and showcased stills from his recent assignments.

After lunch, students had a video lesson from ThreeSixty alumnus and WCCO Photographer Dymanh Chhoun. He showed them examples of his work, discussed his job and career path, then critiqued portraits he asked students to take of their classmates.

Finally, the day ended with a showcase from TPT’s Senior Producer and Director Daniel Bergin. He showed students clips from his documentaries, including “Jim Crow of the North” and talked about what it’s like to tell powerful stories about Minnesota history, which have not been told before.

Here are the student reflections for Wednesday, July 10:

Fran Aravenaa

Fran Aravena – Wayzata High School

Breathe. Capturing a moving image that conveys the message, whether of hope or grief, happiness or sadness, in 1200 x 800 pixels your mission is to help your audience understand. The person behind the camera has to be prepared for anything. From bipolar temperatures, natural disasters and safety threats from anything and everything, cameraman are out in the world capturing the new day. 

Today, we got to talk to multimedia personals; both photographers and videographers. Learning their backgrounds on how they got to the expertise that is seen all over the world. Listening to their struggles and successes and seeing passion when they describe some of their best work. It really made, at least me, want to go out more and use even just my phone to stop time and be able to get an image or a video that I can share with others and always have to reflect. I recommend everyone to take pictures constantly, and if you can, go out and take a class on how to better your skills.

Compelling videos are different for everyone. Some people prefer dramas, some comedies, some romance, but all can respect well put together and seamless stories that one can  immerse themselves in. Not all compelling videos involve through scripts, some of the most powerful ones can simply be pieced together from clips of images, recordings, and videos. Videos are created in the form of storytelling, storytelling is created from the roots of things people are passionate about. Having an audience creates a bigger audience. 

Paula Akapko
Paula Akapko

Paula Akakpo – Math and Science Academy

One thing I learned today is that if you want to take a great photo, you’ve got to get up close. You also need to make sure your subject is comfortable with you.

When you’re taking a video you want to be compassionate and make sure you are not getting in people’s faces. You should also be very respectful to people who are experiencing grief, they may not want to be videotaped. We also learned how to create a compelling video, and to do that you need to get in the heat of the action and get emotion from the subject. 

Watch Josie Morss and Samantha Butterfield discuss what they learned on Day Three in a Facebook Live reflection: