Students learn ‘the art of photographic storytelling’ during M. Stanton Evans Symposium

A pair of former presidential photographers provided the focus of this year's M. Stanton Evans Symposium on Money, Politics and the Media.

A pair of former presidential photographers provided the focus of this year's M. Stanton Evans Symposium on Money, Politics and the Media.

Former White House photographers Paul Morse and Ralph Alswang spoke to journalism faculty and students, along with Art and Design students and staff, at the M. Stanton Evans Journalism Symposium on Thursday.

After the morning presentation and Q&A session, afternoon workshops were available to students. Both photographers recounted their experiences and stories from working at the White House and talked about photographic storytelling.

“The best pictures always fall in between the lines,” said Morse, a photographer for President George W. Bush. “You take one frame, and then time and history will change that moment.”

Paul Morse, left, and Ralph Alswang discuss the art of telling a story through pictures at the M. Stan Evans Symposium. (TROY photo/Joey Meredith)
Paul Morse, left, and Ralph Alswang discuss the art of telling a story through pictures at the M. Stan Evans Symposium. (TROY photo/Joey Meredith)

Morse emphasized the importance of the small, seemingly insignificant moments that surround a historic moment and showed examples from his career.

“I really loved how it wasn’t all pictures of the presidents in the Oval Office or doing their duties,” said Ansley Miller, the photography editor for the Tropolitan and a sophomore business major. “[The pictures] made them look like a husband and a father, and made them look more human.”

Ralph Alswang, a photographer during the Clinton administration, cited the importance of storytelling and capturing other people besides the president. 

“It allowed me to see how I can apply [the photographers] experience to my position in the Trop,” Miller said. “I learned more about looking at the reactions of the people in the crowd.”

Alswang also encouraged students to be bold and to not back down despite awkward or emotional times. 

“You have to be there for the uncomfortable moments as a reporter and as a journalist,” he said. “Hard work makes luck.”

Will Jacks, an assistant professor of Art & Design, introduces Stan Evans Symposium speakers Ralph Alswang and Paul Morse. (TROY photo/Savanah Weed)
Will Jacks, an assistant professor of Art & Design, introduces Stan Evans Symposium speakers Ralph Alswang and Paul Morse. (TROY photo/Savanah Weed)

Hearing from people that have worked at the highest level can be inspiring to students.

“Bringing in people from a higher level of occupation shows that it is possible to accomplish the dreams you have set for yourself,” said Camille Coney, a junior broadcast journalism major. “They are living, breathing proof.”

The Symposium was the latest event in the Hall School of Journalism and Communications career development series. The next, a resume review, will take place on March 29.

The M. Stanton Evans Symposium on Money, Politics and the Media was jointly hosted by the Hall of School of Journalism and the Department of Art & Design. (TROY photo/Joey Meredith)
The M. Stanton Evans Symposium on Money, Politics and the Media was jointly hosted by the Hall of School of Journalism and the Department of Art & Design. (TROY photo/Joey Meredith)
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