GCAA website reporters visit with accomplished photojournalist

[The following article was written by Abi Gray of the Website Reporting Club. Abi also took both photographs].

The GCCAA websites reporters club met after school on Friday the 8th. We were very lucky to meet and speak with Karen Elshout, a professional photojournalist who previously worked for The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who now works for Missouri Lawyers Weekly. Karen shared some of her experiences and gave us a few pointers in photojournalism.

One reason that Karen loves photo journalism is that she finds “the human condition pretty interesting”, and likes to report on and photograph stories regarding regular people. She first became interested in photography in high school and continued to study it in college. While in college, Karen worked for a company that allowed her find stories that were not assigned to her to cover, and ever since she particularly enjoys finding those opportunities. As she said to us “there is a story in every photograph”.

She told us that photojournalism is a very collaborative effort, for example you might need to work with someone to write the story that you were photographing, and you have to be open to other people’s ideas. “There is some satisfaction in finding your own stories and having editors that want to embrace them.”  She also shared that “you need the reporter to understand what it is you see in the story.” The biggest takeaway I had from Karen’s presentation was that being collaborative is a part of photojournalism by nature.

From my prospective, photojournalism seems like a really neat combination of literature and photography.