Sixth grade students at Gallup Middle School were recognized Friday for their participation in the Stock Market Game program's InvestWrite national writing competition, and Micaela DePauli was the first place winner for New Mexico. The students who participated are (front row) Ashley Kinsel, Bliss Gonzales, Jennah Oweis, (middle) Ryan Barreras, Natasha Dhital, (back row) teacher Shari Ickes, Mariah Yazzie, Amy Rosebrough, state winner Micaela DePauli, Jessica Benally and Cara DePauli.
Normally I am not one to shoot this type of image - the dreaded 'grip-n-grin' that conveys little, if any information to the readers. After all, where is the story-telling in the photo? Lately I have been rethinking that approach. So many of our readers think that's what we should do. I show up on a story and I routinely hear "where do you want me?" "What do you want me to do?" (and occasionally "get out of here, you @%&*!"). the other paper in town, a weekly, runs tons of posed group images and I often hear comments about what a great photo this was or that was - when all it was really only a group shot. Even our own reporters still insist on trying to have us take these kind of photos, despite being talked to repeatedly about how they don't tell the story. Maybe my thinking is a bit elitist though. After all, the newspaper is simply a product for the customer. If they want to see that style of image in their paper, why shouldn't I provide them what they want.
For now I remain torn on the idea of doing group shots like this, so as a compromise I decided to make it a bit interesting visually. I did not have a large area to work with - things were being dictated to me by the faculty, and rather than try to fight it, I went with what was there. I had no room to spread the kids out into groups with different heights and levels so I could see all of the faces, so instead I hopped up on a handy stool, told all of them to look up at me and suddenly the problem of being able to see them all went away.