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  • Writer's pictureJedah Mcgee

Good time for Goodwill!

Every donation counts.

With COVID 19 causing a nationwide shutdown, spring cleaning came early, and as a result Goodwill is busier than ever.


A Feature story is more than just taking a picture. Anyone can just go to an event or to a place and snap some photos but if there is no actual meaning or story behind the lens then what is the reason? Why should people care? As consumers we most gravitate towards the things we can relate to and empathize with. If neither of those actions occur we tune out. A feature story is more than just taking a picture, it is capturing several moments that create a story worth telling.

During this time, during a nationwide pandemic, a photojournalists job is especially important. Finding a good story to tell and show during a time where so much is happening and yet nothing is happening at all, is a challenge. Where do you look? Where do you start? When is the right time?

For this assignment we needed to capture 5 particular shots to tell our story. This was a bit more time demanding than the previous assignments we've done because not only were we taking pictures we were subtly gathering information about what was happening, who was being featured in the picture, and what they were doing.

My local Goodwill was gracious enough to allow us to witness their sorting process, from the time the donations come in to the time they are sent out on the main floor for public sale. The pandemic has forced them to implement extra procedures in order to continue their work in servicing the community. Some of the things I noticed due to the state mandate are masks and social distancing. They also are disinfecting and being very cautious during the cleaning process.

I wanted to be able to capture the process as well as the impact it has had on the workflow and customer experience. I took it step by step while also finding moments that may have stood out to me. Having to shoot multiple shots and get multiple perspectives forced me to really pay attention to everything happening around me. Along with quantity I had to focus on the quality of my shots making sure the settings were appropriate for the setting I was in. Because I was taking pictures inside and outside I had to adjust my camera settings accordingly. This assignment also made me realise that it is a lot more challenging to photograph live action rather than portrait, which is what I am used to. There isn't much opportunity to pause and retake shots. I just had to be ready when they were.

Once I gathered all of the pictures, then came time to write a story for them. The images told me exactly what I needed to say. Writing a lede for a feature story was the challenging part. You never know how much goes into writing a lede sentence until you have to write one yourself. The dynamic of the lede has to be different than the captions for the images. Once you understand that part it is all a matter of shaping your story into one or two sentences.

Overall I learned a lot about what photojournalism consists of. It takes a lot more than snapping a photo. Your mindset and attitude when approaching any story has to be optimistic and you should be prepared for anything.

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