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What is a news photo?

Courtney Marabella Temple University Philadelphia 2014

What is a news photo? What is a news photo? That question is both complicated and simple. Put simply, a news photo is a photo of news. But that definition begs the question, what is news? That’s where things get tricky. Depending on who you are, that answer could vary. Maybe political issues are news to you. Maybe it’s the search for the Malaysian Airlines flight. Maybe it’s the latest scandal surrounding Mylie Cyrus. Different things are news to different people, and just because we don’t care about certain things doesn’t make them any less newsworthy. For the past year an a half I have worked for a newspaper- well, two newspapers to be exact. The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. Everyday when I went into work, I had no idea what I would be shooting. Some days I would shoot things that I would never, personally, consider newsworthy. One day I would be covering something intense like a hit and run, and then next I would be covering a shop that sells felt goods. How does that work? Well, it just does. In a way, shooting for these papers really helped me. I’m no longer of the pretentious opinion that something isn’t news just because it isn’t the hard hitting stuff I prefer. Shooting news has also put me in situations I would never have been in otherwise. I’ve done things I would never have imagined, and met people who are pretty incredible. Just the other day I photographed a girl who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing. She is now a freshman at UPenn. At first it was unlikely that they’d be able to even save her leg, and now, less than a year later, she is walking around campus on her own. She does a number of activities, just joined a sorority, and volunteers at CHOP. She was one of the most positive, optimistic people I have ever met. Shooting the news photos allows you to hear people’s stories, and see how they live their lives. It allows you to capture aspects of a story or a person that could not be communicated in words. So I guess my answer to the question, what is a news photo, is this... A news photo is the kind of photo I love to shoot.

Coach John Dennis holds basketball practtice at the Berean Institute on Girard Avenue. His team was trying to raise money to travel to their championship in Orlando Florida. Shot on February 16, 2013.

An animal rights group travel around to junk yards in Northeast Philadelphia to give treats to Pitbulls used as junk yard dogs and raise awareness about the practice and how it should be stopped. Shot on March 10, 2013.

A memorial held on the Roosevelt Blvd. for Samara Banks and her three children who were killed in a hit and run while trying to cross in that very spot, late at night. Shot on July 17, 2013.

Rebecca Gutherman, a senior at Imaculata University, who will become a nun after she graduates in May. Shot on March 27, 2014.

Gillian Reny (right) and her mother Audrey Epstein Reny discuss their foundation that will raise money for limb recovery research. Gillian was severely injured during the Boston Marathon bombing in April of 2013. At first, it was unlikely that doctors would be able to save her leg. She now attends the University of Pennsylvania as a freshman, and walks with no assistance. Shot on April 7, 2014.

Employees of Philly AIDS Thrift model some of the clothes available at the their store on March 5, 2013.

Policemen in Washington Township, New Jersey pose in front of the land that is being converted into a kennel for their dogs in the K9 Unit on March 20, 2014.

A memorial held for Arlene Ackerman, former superintendent of the Philadelphia School District, at the Bright Hope Baptist Church in North Philadelphia, on Sunday, March 3, 2013.

The family members of Ezekiel Tomboyeke, who was killed in a hit and run, in Chesilhurst, New Jersey, on Sunday, March 17, 2013.

The State Senate Delegation unveils its plan from the Democratic caucus to boost state funds for public schools, at the Philadelphia School District building on North Broad Street in Philadelpia, on Thursday, January 30, 2014.

Pitch in for Baseball, a non-profit organization based out of Harleysville, PA, presents donations of baseball and softball equipment to Philadelphia schools at the Philadelphia School District Building on Monday, March 24, 2014.

What is a news photo?