5 Awesome Photojournalism Projects

5 Awesome Photojournalism Projects

Check these uniquely creative projects out.

Since I chose my Major, Catholic Studies, and my two Minors, Studio Photography and Theatre Performance, spring of freshman year, I have been relieved to tell people a decisive answer to their question, "what are you studying?" rather than replying with a vague "undecided". However, whenever I do tell people what I am studying, I steel myself for their next response, which can be a confused or judgemental smile followed up by another question: "what are you going to do with that?". I have answers, but instead of just saying them and moving on I had the BRILLIANT idea of answering them in odyssey article format! The next three articles I will be publishing will be used to show what inspires me/what I'm passionate about/what my majors and minors will ideally be used for in no specific order. I'm pumped, yo! (If you want to be in the same zone as I am now while writing, please listen to Guardians of the Galaxy Mixtape, available on Spotify.)

Let us begin.

My minor, Studio Photography (at St. Kate's through the wonderful ACTC program), I want to use to develop my own style of photojournalism. Photojournalism is basically combining personal stories/writing with personal photography, usually portrait photography or of items specific to a person. I have a list in my head of really fantastic photojournalism that I would like to imitate/come up with a similar idea, but with a different focus. Some of these you will definitely know/recognize, but for the ones you don't, they come highly recommended by me, so if you're interested, READ.

1. Children Just Like Me

I first read this around age 7, and I still really enjoy it. The authors, Anabel Kindersley and Barnabas Kindersley, created this book in honor of UNICEF's 50th anniversary. They interview 37 children, who each have two pages with pictures of them, their family, their school, their signatures, their interests, etc. It's cool because it shows how we're all different, but in a lot of ways we're really the same. Cliche but true.

Here's an example of Omar from Cancun, Mexico:

2. HONY: Humans of New York

This is a popular blog started by Brandon Stanton. At first his photojournalism project was focused on just the humans of New York but his project takes on more specific focuses, such as his recent goal of taking pictures of pediatric cancer patients; he raised $3.8 million for pediatric cancer in a mere three weeks.

A screenshot of his work off of http://www.humansofnewyork.com/:

3. The Burning House Project: What Would You Take?

This book/website started as an online project (still going strong today!) where people around the world are encouraged to consider the question of what you would take with you if your house was burning? I like this because the pictures in the book are very design-oriented (a lot of the participants seem quite artsy) but also because it's interesting to decide what you would take. They all had descriptions as well, but I'm just including the pictures here. Check out the website at theburninghouse.com.

Here's some examples:

And my own Burning House entry:

4. Persona

I actually just discovered this project, by Jason Travis, and it looks super cool. Basically it's two pictures: one of the person/animal/etc. and one of objects that define them. See more of Jason's work: jasontravisphoto.com.

5. Peter Menzel & Faith D'Aluisio

Instead of listing the title of the project I listed the author's names because they have three books that are super excellent and I wanted to fit all three into one category.

The first, Material World, focuses on families around the world photographed with all of their posessions outside of their homes. Each family has a journalism article on them along with a list of all possessions.

Menzel on the parents in this photo: "Nalim and Namgay are subsistence farmers who live with their family in a three-story, rammed-earth house in the 14-house village of Shingkhey, Bhutan. Nalim and her daughter care for the children and farm. Namgay, who has a hunched back and a clubfoot, grinds grain for neighbors with a small mill purchased from the government. He also reads sacred texts and conducts house cleansing and healing ceremonies." - Material World

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats

This project, also by Menzel and D'Aluisio, is the same concept but focuses on what families around the world eat, ranging from refugees to vegetarians to fast food diets.

What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets

Again, same authors and a similar idea; this time the focus is on one individual, and what they eat, including why/their lifestyles and the caloric count.

That's it for now! This is what I would like to do in the future (probably combined with other projects). This summer I will actually be doing my own version of Humans of New York, Humans of St. Ben's, a blog on the members of parish in Duluth, Minn. Once that gets on the ground I plan to spread the word so keep an eye out!

I know that what I'm interested is unconventional and sounds less successful and concrete than Education or Business, but it's something that gets me super excited, and I hope these articles will help to spread my excitement.

Check out my photography on Flicker.

Cover Image Credit: theburninghouse.com

Popular Right Now

An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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News Flash: 'Building The Wall' Is Still A Dumb Idea And Always Will Be

The government is still partially shutdown because of funding for the wall. Really?


A man who is a strong supporter of building the wall told me this metaphor: If you don't want the wrong people walking into your backyard, you put a fence up. We don't want the wrong people coming to America, so we put a wall up. I respect people's political beliefs, and because of this, I want to share mine.

I believe that President Trump demanding money to build a border wall is dumb.

It's hard to believe so many people really think that this "build a wall" has everything to do about border security. It's just inhumane and wrong.

Literally, the most notorious drug lord of Mexico has shed light about how he smuggles the drug into the U.S. They have brought it through fishing boats, trucks going through the legal point of entry, underground tunnel, but not through unwalled parts. The half of million pounds of narcotics that were secured at the border? They were all al legal points of entry.

I'm saying this because I am a proud daughter of immigrants who crossed the border. The media has portrayed immigrants as these horrible people infiltrating our country. They just want somewhere safe to live to raise their kid.

The conditions of Latin American countries are inexplicable. Communist have risen from the ashes dominating these countries letting people rot on the street starving. There are little to no job opportunities. I haven't seen my family in three years because it is dangerous to go.

The media doesn't tell you this. They don't tell you how many people have gone to the border and returned to Mexico because ICE agents tear gas them.

They tell you that they throw babies over fences to distract border patrol agents. They tell you children are dying because of malnutrition of trekking thousands of miles to get the border. They don't tell you that those same children have been eating unmonitored food with thousands of microorganism some mal some good.

Not all immigrants are not bad people. The notions that all immigrants are criminals is "fake news." It has been a hook, line, and sinker for the Republican Party. There are studies such as one from the journal Criminology showing that places with high undocumented immigrant population does not equal high crime.

Should undocumented citizens attempt to become legal residents of the United States? Absolutely, and that is a problem if they are evading taxes and other legal notions with more consequences.

However, we should not lie to ourselves and act as a wall is to help border security against drugs and crime. It's just a physical quota like 1920s immigration laws. There is a better solution then sacrificing 5.7 billion dollars. Let me translate that: 5,700,000,000 dollars. That is our taxes. As a college student, I rather have those 5.7 billion dollars be translated to scholarship, grants, financial aid, and helping us, the future of this country become the best people we can be. Why build a wall when the future of America, who I personally think is more important can be helped.

I don't come from a rich family, and I don't have the means to afford a college education without loans, so when I hear that the Government can afford to give 5.7 billion dollars for a wall, I have the right to be upset. Tell me I'm wrong, and call me dumb, but this is my unpopular opinion.


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