Branding photo of Naseem Talukdar holding a waste plastic bottle on the Bristol harbourside

Creating the perfect news photograph requires a different approach to other styles of photography. News photographs tell a story in a slightly different way to other photos.

A front page photograph in a newspaper article needs to grab your attention and get you turning the page or scrolling quickly.

A news photograph is created to lead your eye with strong compositions and powerful messages. There’s not much time for subtlety. Its sole purpose is to draw you into the story.

Here’s a few techniques news photographers use to make their photographs more engaging and tell a story.

It’s all about the people. Generally speaking photos of people are more engaging. We’re attracted to stories about people’s lives because we’re naturally curious. Maybe we want to know more because we aspire to be like them, or perhaps we dislike what they stand for. We might not like to admit it, but we’re probably all slightly nosey about what other people get up to as well!

Make it feel real. If you’re reporting a news story, the photography needs to feel real. If you’re capturing a live story, the photographs are likely to be taken in a reportage style as events unfold. This creates a very distinctive look which helps the viewer feel like they’re part of the story.

Show emotion. Expressions of happiness, elation, fear or anger are easy to read and create an emotional reaction from the viewer. You’ll often see news stories from troubled parts of the world after a natural disaster or a war zone capturing emotions such as fear, desperation or anger. The emotions are aligned to the story and they help to communicate the human tragedy. On the other hand, images of a sports team after they’ve won a competition often capture fatigue, joy, camaraderie and elation. The expressions are reinforcing a story about a hard won sporting battle that resulted in success and pride from the achievement.

Keep the photo simple and make sure the connection with your story is crystal clear. It’s important to consider the tone of your story too. For example, if your story is upbeat and positive you’ll want to include images that reinforce that message

Crop and compose your image to focus on what’s important. Photographers will often crop and compose an image to direct your attention to part of the scene. Cropping also allows you to remove distracting elements from your photo as well.

Next time you’re scanning through a newsfeed take a closer look at the images and see if you can use any of these techniques being used. Maybe you’ll spot a few others too.

Are you ready to elevate your business storytelling photography?

If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with Nick on 07410 634158 or book a complimentary consultation call at a time that suits you.


Learn more about business storytelling photography and the other services I offer including headshot photography, personal branding photography and corporate event photography.