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Interview with photojournalist Jeff Harper

photojournalism1-hockey-800px
Hockey finale kiss

I was inspired to approach Jeff Harper for an interview after seeing the image above on his Google Plus page. It's not very often you see big, burly, manly, hockey players kiss each other on the mouth. I knew the photographer that was able to capture this knew photojournalism and I wanted to get some tips from him for you.

What IS photojournalism exactly?

photojournalism2

Gene Simmons, left, and Paul Stanley of KISS rock out to over 8,000 fans at the Halifax Metro Centre on Thursday night. See metronews.ca for a slideshow of pictures from the concert. (Jeff Harper/Metro)
Gene Simmons, left, and Paul Stanley of KISS rock out to over 8,000 fans at the Halifax Metro Centre August 2013. See metronews.ca for a slideshow of pictures from the concert.

What will I get from watching this interview?

Even though you may not aspire to be a photojournalist and work for a newspaper or news agency, you may have the need to apply some of his tips to the types of things you photograph like kids sports, events, or just street photography.

Here's just a few of the topics we cover in this interview:

  • anticipating action
  • asking questions
  • using available light
  • what's in Jeff's equipment bag
  • photo editing for news
  • tips for shooting in bad weather

Besides that you will get a better idea of what it's like doing the job of a photojournalist in a smaller city, see some inspirational images, and hear some neat stories.

You have to put the “journalist” in photojournalist

Here are a few more of his images for you to enjoy!

Painting the MacDonald Bridge
Painting the MacDonald Bridge

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Sometimes the stories and photos are exciting like a KISS concert, others you have to make up and are a little "slower"!
Sometimes the stories and photos are exciting like a KISS concert, others you have to make up and are a little “slower”!
Members of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment from Gagetown file down the stairs near the town clock after a photo shoot. The Regiment was in town to participate in the upcoming Tattoo.
Members of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment from Gagetown file down the stairs near the town clock after a photo shoot. The Regiment was in town to participate in the upcoming Tattoo.
Firefighters take a look for hot spots after knocking down a fire
Firefighters take a look for hot spots after knocking down a fire.
Gary"Wildman" Williams, with Sarah Dunsworth, who is making a documentary about wrestling.
Gary”Wildman” Williams, with Sarah Dunsworth, who is making a documentary about wrestling.

About Jeff Harper

Jeff Harper is an experienced photojournalist and videographer with over 10 years experience in the industry. He became enthralled with photography after a backpacking trip to Ireland, and has been hooked on visual journalism ever since. Jeff formalized his skills at NSCC and received honours in both photography and digital imaging. He dove right into commercial and wedding photography, but eventually settled as a video and photojournalist. He has worked for all the major daily papers in Nova Scotia (Canada), as well as a freelance photographer for The Globe and Mail, The National Post, and Reuters. He currently works full time as a photojournalist for Metro Halifax and as photojournalism instructor at The University of King's College.

Links and gear mentioned in the interview

Where to find Jeff online

Action Plan

As usual I'm going to challenge you to use what you've learned from this interview and go apply it to your photography. So how can you use these tips to help you take better photos at special events, sports, or any type of photography that is like a photojournalist style? Do you dream of being a photojournalist when you “grow up”? If so hopefully we've given you some tips for how to approach this from a career perspective as well. Share your images and stories in the comments below.

Cheers

cheers

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