Decide on a subject, your story angle and consider what magazine, newspaper or other media outlet might be interested to publish it. Your story should be something you are interested in and which you have a passion for and wish to explore further. Whilst it is important you have the agreement and cooperation of your subject, you must present your story from your own subjective viewpoint and in the context of your proposed media audience.
My story is going to be how, despite the recent media sensationalist hype about bikie gangs, and the many new laws targeting them, many Australians are still enjoying motorcycle riding as a social and group activity, with a particular emphasis on the older Australians who are members of the Ulysses club, the largest motorcycle riders club in Australia, whose membership is restricted to those aged over 40, and a vast majority of members are over the age of 60.
After much consideration and considerable research, I have decided to submit to the Big Issue as a lifestyle piece, focusing on the quality of social activities offered to older Australians through the Ulysses club, it’s activities, wide network of members, and their charity work for various organisations.
Research your proposed publication and its agenda and aesthetic. Who is its audience and how is photography used to communicate ideas?
The Big Issue are a not for profit based publication and independent publishin company, their ethic is to help the disadvantaged while providing a slightly irreverent view on culture, current affairs, lifestyle news and opinion. It is edited by a Walkley award winning journalist and author.
The Big Issue is an Australia wide paper publication with a well established web presence, whose articles are mostly targeted at those interested current affairs and other social issues. Photographs are used in nearly all articles, with many having several supporting images to convey the relevant message of the author.
Write a persuasive pitch explaining why your proposed publication might be interested in publishing your story. Explain why it would be of interest to their readers and what knowledge, skills and access to your subject you have that makes you qualified to shoot it.
I believe that the Big Issue will appreciate the point of view of my essay, as quite often motorcycling is seen as a young person’s activity, and frequently, the valuable social activity aspect for older Austrlaians is not widely known. I hope to present it in a way that shows the fun times and some of the Ulysses motto of ‘grow old disgracefully”. With an aging population, the social interaction needs of older Australians is quite topical and can create interesting discussions among a wide cross section of society.
Write down the feedback you have received from your photo editor/lecturer and how it has helped you refine your story idea.
During discussions in class, it came to my attention that not many people were aware of motorcycle clubs as a social entity, and only a small number aware of the laws that are currently being rushed through several states. After reflection on the discussions held, I decided to change the focus of my story to the social aspect of the Ulysses club for older Australians, as opposed to the absurdity of the various laws that were discussed. I also realized that I was unaware of my of the independent media producers in Australia, so further research was required in that regard.
By changing the focus of my story, and making it a much more positive piece about a popular leisure activity, I hope to broaden the appeal and to be able to create more compelling images.