I attended various classes at NSPA hoping to gain new ideas and thoughts that could help contribute to our yearbook. I went to many writing and interviewing classes and the number one thing I learned was that everyone has a story. No matter how difficult it may be to grasp the story or get the person to talk about it, it’s there. It’s important to know what your focus is on; stories are about people not about things. Listening and observing are two techniques that sound so simple, yet sometimes we forget to do them. During an interview sometimes I’m so anxious about what to say, and the next question I’m going to ask I forget to actually listen to the person, and observe everything they do, which helps an immense amount in learning about that person. There is no such thing as “the perfect question” however; I learned a way to come close.
First of all, it’s extremely important to do research about the topic or person you’re going to interview so that you come off like you know what you’re talking about, and save the most difficult or uncomfortable question for last, that way you can still write a story with what you have. It’s important to ask specific questions, that use words like “why” or “how”.
Along with the writing classes I attended, I also went to a photography class as well. For action shots, I learned to avoid keeping the action in the center, and to try to get as close to the subject as possible. Repetition can make a picture look unique as well as different angles. Never just watch the game or event that’s taking place, only watch through your lens, while constantly taking shots. A photograph is always more meaningful when it contains emotion, and when it isn’t posed.
Over the 3 days in Saint Louis, I learned a vast amount about journalism and hope to carry all of that information with me throughout the years. I was also able to form a bond with the members of our family, and share an experience that one could never forget.