By Jim Colton
I have often said that a good picture has to be “affective” to be “effective.” A truly great image causes a visceral reaction within us. It makes us mad, it makes us cry, it makes us laugh - it makes us feelsomething. If an image hasn’t done one of those things, then it hasn’t done its job.
Finding and capturing those images is another matter. Where do you start? What homework is involved? Truly moving images and engaging stories are generally not the result of serendipity. Yes, there is the occasional spot news image that unfolds in front of our lenses but even then, there is usually some preparation that takes place before that happens. Luck favors the prepared.
But when it comes to finding that perfect feature story or personal project, Washington AP staff photographer describes the process as being, “…vital to have work that feeds your soul.” And with that hunger comes preparation, sacrifice and dedication…knowing full well that the results may never see the light of day in print.
Her self-funded story on albinism in Tanzania, “Tribe of Ghosts,” is hauntingly beautiful…and affective! It required months of research and contacting nonprofits and NGO’s but her hard work paid off…perhaps not so much monetarily, but her images not only feed the soul but also shine a light on the souls of her subjects.
Martin is a much decorated photographer with awards bestowed upon her from the White House News Photographers Association to the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism contest. She is also the President of the Women Photojournalists of Washington (WPOW) where she is a champion in educating the public about the work and accomplishments of women in the field of photojournalism.
This week, Photo Journal has a conversation with the very passionate Jacquelyn Martin about early influences, women in the industry, balancing the personal project with her full time gig as a staff wire photographer…and “feeding her soul.”