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Posts Tagged ‘photojournalist’

One of the things my advertising research professor repeatedly emphasized throughout the class was that brand planners (those people that figure out what consumers want and how they rationalize their buying habits) have to be chameleons. By this, she meant that brand planners must be able to get along with people from all walks of life, no matter how weird or disturbing they might find the consumers’ lives to be.

Also, brand planners have to be able to insert themselves into social situations with consumers if they want to retrieve any valuable information. I think journalists need that same ability. We’ve got to be chameleons, too. We have to be able to blend into the story’s environment.

The key is adaptability.

We’re not in Romania yet, but we’re already running across some logistical obstacles. While the situation is stressful, we realize that we’ve been dealt a certain hand and we’re going to adapt. This stuff happens, and we can’t control it. But we can control how we respond, so we’re creating a backup plan for a new set of circumstances.

When I was soliciting advice from photojournalists, one of them told me about a trip of his overseas. He was going to be in this country for a week and he had absolutely nothing with two days left. He had an enormous amount of pressure on him because his editors would have been slightly upset if he arrived with no good story/photos after spending a week abroad. Since what he was doing wasn’t working, he switched gears and found a new story/angle to run with. It worked out for him, and we’re hoping what we’re doing will work out for us.

These obstacles will most certainly change our experience, but they won’t stop us. Because we’re like those little lizards that change color. We can be chameleons, too.

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It is absolutely gorgeous out today. Blue skies, light breeze, and a comfortable temperature hovering around 70. It’s that kind of weather that transforms your mood. All you want to do is be outside tossing around a baseball, throwing around a Frisbee, reading or just doing nothing but enjoying the day.

Today reminds me of the first time I looked at photos from a HUG service trip they took a couple of years ago. I was surprised to see blue skies in most of the photos. While preparing for the trip, I had been so focused on researching the work of William Snyder, Smiley Pool, and other photojournalists that have visited Romania that I completely forgot that the sun shines there, too. I’ve seen so many pictures of children in awful situations that it completely slipped my mind that there’s another side to this country.

I remember doing something similar before I studied abroad in Copenhagen a little over a year ago. I had this completely romanticized version of Europe in my head leading up to my flight. It was the place where you had great adventures, and everyone was, well, happy. I did have many great adventures during my four months there and I met happy people mixed in with a few unhappy ones. It took me a few weeks, but I realized that Europeans are human, too. They have the same basic needs and problems like us. Sure, their culture and traditions might be different, but we’re essentially the same.

In an effort to keep myself in the right frame of mind and not keep this blog so one-sided, I promise to post photos completely unrelated to the orphanages. And you can be sure that Sommer and I will also share our stories about getting stuck in a downpour without jackets/umbrellas or not knowing how to operate the bathroom.

Because you can count on one of those things happening.

-lindsey

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