Photographers rank ‘changing perspectives on an important issue’ as the key ingredient to visual storytelling
London, UK, April 2018 – Canon Europe has revealed research into the power of visual storytelling in today’s society. Entitled ‘Visual storytelling: Getting the Shot’, it uncovers professional photographers’ views on successful visual storytelling, what it takes to get ‘the shot’, and the future of photojournalism.
Canon unveils new research into power of imagery
World Press Photo 2018 category award nominee and Canon Ambassador, Giulio Di Sturco – More Than a Woman
Canon conducted the study to further understand the perspectives of professional photographers and to champion their storytelling passion. It comes in celebration of 26 years of partnership with World Press Photo, ahead of the 2018 award winners being announced on the 12th April 2018.
The key ingredients to a successful visual story
When asked to rank the most important ingredients for successful visual storytelling, 55% of respondents selected ‘provoking a change in perspective on a topic or issue’, as the primary definition. Other core ingredients of a successful image include, one that drives emotion (48%), has a strong supporting narrative (31%), reveals an untold story (25%) and has good composition (24%).
“Throughout history, photojournalists have been driven by their passion to capture ‘the shot’; a visual story that triggers debate, inspires action and alters perspectives”, says Lee Bonniface, CIG Marketing Director at Canon Europe. “Stories illuminate the unseen and give voices to the unheard. They tell us truths that must not be ignored and challenge us to act upon them. We commend the photographers that are pushing the boundaries in order to tell the inspiring, controversial and challenging stories that need to be told.”
What it takes to get the shot
When considering capturing the perfect shot, 95% of photographers cited preparation as paramount - ensuring they have researched the story, vision and angle.
Along with meticulous planning, photographers must be able to confidently rely on their kit to get the best picture possible, eliminating the chances of malfunctions, which could ultimately result in missing the shot. Over three quarters of the professional photographers surveyed (78%) use a full frame camera, with Canon as the preferred brand for nearly two thirds (63%). A camera which is reliable (94%) and intuitively easy to use (76%) are key to getting the shot, according to the photographers.
How do photojournalists know when they’ve got the shot?
Over half of the survey respondents (56%) agreed that knowing they’ve captured the shot is an instant feeling they get as soon they take the photo.
Canon Ambassador and World Press Photo 2018 category award nominee, Giulio Di Sturco, agrees. “The moment you get the shot, you just know. You feel that everything in the frame is in the right place and importantly, you’ve captured the essence of the story.”
The future of photojournalism
When asked about the future of photojournalism, photographers are divided. Over a third (37%) believe there will be a rise in quality photojournalism, with the growth of social media and the ease of sharing images and telling stories online as the primary reason (45%). However, 32% believe there will be a decline in photojournalism due to the rise in citizen journalism (35%), a shrinking traditional media landscape (26%) and fewer photojournalist roles (20.5%).
“It’s vital that we continue to support the photojournalists of today, as well as commit to nurturing the generation of tomorrow, to ensure the stories that need to be told continue to have a voice”, concludes Lee Bonniface.
Respondents also acknowledged the importance of technology in the future of visual storytelling. Whilst many believe that virtual reality (52%) and augmented reality (49%) will play a role, 47% of photographers’ kit bags have not yet expanded to include a broader range of photography equipment beyond their full frame DSLRs, lenses and accessories. Photographers strongly believe that, despite technological advances, their expertise and skill remains critical, with 96% saying there will always be the need for humans in the creative process.
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