When I think of the Newseum in downtown Washington, D.C., I think of boring newspaper articles, stone faced reporters talking in monotonous voices, maybe an exhibit or two on the ethics of writing and reporting. I don’t think of walking through vast halls, being assaulted by visual stimuli, personally interacting with a newsroom. Among all the exciting exhibits in this museum, one stuck out to me the most.
I did not expect to walk into the Pulitzer Prize Photography Gallery and feel compelled to cry, to show any emotion at all. I did not expect to stand next to each photograph one by one and read its description in full, analyzing each one for the work of art that it is.
I was surprised by the captivating emotion that engulfed me as I walked through that gallery, each photograph burned into my memory. The violence, the passion, the anguish, the death, destruction and mutilation of people, the yearning and the tears. What a wide range of emotions captured in one small space among dozens of unique photographs.
Where do i go from here?
To whittle down an explanation about how this exhibit relates to my dream job is proving difficult. How can I describe the pull I feel to do more with my life after seeing all of those photographs that have been celebrated for their vivid storytelling in one shot?
A picture is truly worth a thousand words. Whether it’s of a celebrity getting out of car, disheveled and intoxicated, her skirt skimming the top of her thigh, or maybe of a group of tired protestors standing in front of an abortion clinic, a photograph can tell a story that words cannot seem to grasp in their entirety.
I want to have access to those photos. I want to tell a story with those photos. Social media platforms like Instagram are apps that show just how easy it is to take a beautiful photo for free and release it to the public– instantly branding, marketing, and advertising the work that a company is doing.