Author: Carol Wirth
“After more than 15 years in public relations with roots in journalism, I reached a point where I needed to find what I was passionate about in my profession or find a new one. I thought I would come out of the process changing careers. Instead, I found what I truly love about the one I’ve already got: Telling people’s stories. Everyone’s got a story – it’s what makes people (and people make up businesses) who they are, it’s their personality, their difference. I enjoy finding the story, pulling it out, making it relevant and communicating it to the public. In my adapted career, I simply found another way to communicate the stories – through documentary video.”
You can contact Carol at email@example.com
Ever take vacation off work only to come back to the burden of settling back in at work? The mere thought of The Return discourages many from taking the time off or they choose to stay tethered to work while on vacation.
This year, I went somewhere far away where Internet access wasn’t readily available.
I didn’t suffer the occasional pangs of anxiety thinking about work. There was no sense of dread at the thought of returning to reality. My stomach didn’t sink when my smartphone lit up like Las Vegas on the tarmac downloading all the messages I hadn’t received.
What’s wrong with me? Or maybe what’s finally right with me?
I went to college to be a journalist. I attended an excellent school, The University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where I majored in photojournalism. At KU, I studied and worked under a veteran photojournalist who had just retired as picture editor for National Geographic, formerly with the Washington Post over 20 years. He came home to Lawrence, Kansas to run the local daily newspaper.
On Saturdays and during other free time, I would pick up my camera, find some subjects to photograph and head back to the darkroom on campus to develop negatives. Then I’d ride my bike over to the editorial offices at the paper, where Bill either accepted or rejected what I brought him. It was brilliant, he never paid me a dime, and I started my portfolio of published clips (some on the front page) in an award-winning daily newspaper.
I would have done it for nothing in return. It wasn’t the photography that I loved – the manual cameras, film and darkrooms left plenty of room for error – it was the stories that I collected through the lens.
At some point, my career pivoted away from photojournalism. But, now, here I am again, collecting local stories through the lens with another dimension.
The images are not still, they move.
The subjects talk, whereas as with photographs we rely on copy to give details.
There are no prints, the images are delivered on the screen.
I produce short documentary videos. As the saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. And now a 1-minute video is worth 1.8 million words, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research.
It’s what you do with that one minute that matters. You can communicate many things visually without words. Often words fall short, or too many are required to convey a message, or the words just don’t fit. You can convey many more messages through visuals.
Nowadays, I consider myself a visual storyteller, as well as a communications strategist. I enjoy helping people, businesses, non-profits communicate their story. There is always a story there; it’s helping people find that story, uncover their difference and communicate those messages on the screen in an engaging manner.
Through documentary videography, we can add to the emotional response elicited from visual images with music and sound. But more importantly, the use of documentary video cuts through the physical barriers of a printed page or a digital screen. It provides, what a friend of mine has called a fourth dimension, so you can get a feel for the person, place or activity, just as if you were there physically.
What drew me to photojournalism was communicating, if but a glimpse, people’s stories through photographs. But now I continue where I left off, and building more of the story through documentary videos.
Do you enjoy what you do for work? If so, let me know, I want to hear about it. Use the hashtag #enjoywhatyoudo.
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At Glimsity, in our regular work day we talk to a lot of people, collect useful nuggets of information, gather insight and identify trends locally. Lil is an acronym for Local inside look (Lil). At Lil G Blog, we want to share the good stuff with you. It’s everything that doesn’t fit into our short videos.