In today’s climate, photojournalists have so many different looks. There’s the classic photojournalist look with five day growth, worn jeans and a look of fatigue from traveling the world. Then there’s the tech look comprised of a plaid, untucked shirt, old school Converse and hip, black eyeglasses demanded on days when we look dumbfounded at the bevy of digital gadgets that fill our Domke bags (whoops, does anyone still carry a Domke?). Of course, there is always the lawyer look, that being a starched, blue button down, casual black Cole kicks and designer jeans, reserved for hours of reading contracts and spewing phrases like “in perpetuity.”
But my favorite is the educator look. Ah, yes, slipping into a wool, tweed jacket and a pair of no-frills khakis always seems to prepare you for the classroom.
Putting the looks aside for a moment, my favorite freelancer role, outside of shooting, is that of teacher. I enjoy being in the classroom and helping guide young photographers. In an effort to minimize the glazed-eye syndrome that sweeps a classroom if you speak longer than fifteen minutes at a time, I incorporate as many visual resources as possible. After all, it doesn’t take a scientist to realize that visual storytellers respond well to visual teaching techniques. Truth be told, I still use some very old school technology like a VHS tape (look it up if you’re under 20 and reading this post) on Sebastio Salgado showing him shooting and editing his Workers essay. And it’s always well received. The digital age opens up a vast array of resources that are literally at our fingertips to show students during class.
Yesterday I came across a resource while checking out Flak Photo Network on Facebook that will help me in the classroom. Erica McDonald curated a selection of photojournalism, documentary and fine art photography videos and made the work available via a channel on Vimeo. Called “Develop Tube,” the online resource “is an educational resource which features interviews, profiles, lectures and films about photojournalism, documentary and fine art photography.”
Even if you don’t teach, this is a great place to just appreciate excellent work. But if you do slip on a tweed jacket from time to time to share your knowledge, then Develop Tube will surely prove a great resource. Just click on the short trailer above about an upcoming documentary of Magnum’s Dennis Stock and you’ll see what I mean. Then browse the site for a while as it’s well worth the time. I would be remiss if I didn’t also encourage you to check out Develop Tube on YouTube as well.