Photography and Cutlines Training

About this Lesson

Mark Hinojosa
Associate Professor
Convergence Journalism
Missouri School of Journalism
University of Missouri

Photojournalism is the art and practice of telling news stories through photographs. To be a photojournalist today requires an understanding of the narrative arc of the story and the skills necessary to make images that are meaningful to that story. Photojournalists often have only a split second to capture that decisive moment: a lifetime of training and experience determine the success or failure of that objective.

What you will learn

After completing this unit, you should be able to:

  • Understand the compositional concept of “the rule of thirds” to improve the visual geometry of an image
  • Use natural light to improve your photographs
  • Understand the exposure triangle and the role aperture, ISO and shutter speed play in exposure
  • Articulate the elements of AP style captions
  • Understand the ethical issues faced by photojournalists

How the lesson works

First of all, this is an asynchronous lesson unit, which means no live events are scheduled for this lesson. You can complete learning activities at your own pace whenever is convenient for you. Despite the asynchronous nature, the learning tasks are organized to help you succeed.

To be successful in this unit, please complete the following tasks:

• Watch the lecture.
• Take the quiz to test your own understanding.  This will help you to strengthen the concepts you just learned.
Optional: Due to the amount of content to be covered in a single unit, we encourage you read these additional resources. Some of the quiz questions might come from the readings in Additional Resources section.

Watch the Lecture



Click on the Launch button to start

 Take the Quiz


Direction: Some of the questions might from the readings in Additional Resources below


Click on the Launch button to start

Lesson Resources

Lecture Script: Download it here

Printable Quiz: Photography and Cutlines

ASNE Classroom Resources

Lessons: Photography and Cutlines

Additional Resources

Jim McNay, NPPA: “Getting started in photojournalism

Photojojo: “9 Tips for Breaking into Photojournalism

Mikko Takkunen, Time: “The 10 Best Photo Essays of the Month

New York Times, “New York Times Lens Blog

NPPA Code of Ethics

Jeffrey Saddoris, Faded & Blurred: “Is the iPhone the right tool for photojournalism

Julián Cardona, Transom: “The Camera Is Only A Tool

Sherry Ricchiardi, American Journalism Review: “Distorted Picture

David Campbell, Nieman Reports: “Photojournalism in the New Media Economy

Convergence Journalism, Missouri School of Journalism: “AP Caption style


Back to Training Home