Tip of the Week | Scott Jensen: If nothing else, capture moments

Scott Jensen is a national award winning photojournalist and two-time NPPA Photographer of the Year who is currently the Content Manager for KING-TV in Seattle, WA

If nothing else, capture moments

Written by Scott Jensen

Not that I’m condoning poor technique; great television photographers ALWAYS look to improve skills like composition and sequencing. However, the best maintain good mechanics WHILE seeking moments. The best know moments captured are first priority.

A moment is a point during the natural course of life that explains or helps to explain the people or their circumstances. Capture interaction, humor, sorrow, joy, awkwardness or any other real action or emotion. A moment can be subtle. It can be symbolic. It can be ironic. What is it that makes your subjects human? That’s what we’re after.

One of my most influential mentors taught me to “shoot in the moment and with the moment.” It’s true at times you and your camera are part of your subjects’ lives. Embrace that. But always keep it real. Forget about your gear and make your subjects comfortable. Empathize with their emotions and motivations. Anticipate their actions. Work the room, but don’t tell them what to do. If you let them run the show, their stories turn out with much greater authenticity.

Moments document reality. They give us credibility. For video journalists, moments are the equivalent of facts to reporters. Find moments and use them daily.

It’s an old tip for a new year. Make it your resolution. Now go capture life!


“Shawn’s Long Wait” by photojournalist Scott Jensen

In-Depth- Scott Jensen-KTUU Anchorage, “Shawn’s Long Wait” from Poynter Institute on Vimeo.