Making Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

By Heather Grubbs, Office of College Relations


Constructive criticism can be hard to hear.

But members of The Campus staff were soaking up words of wisdom and advice from renowned photojournalist Bob Lynn, who spoke to Campus staff on Aug. 22 as part of a four-day, on-campus workshop.

Campus Co-Editors-in-Chief Amanda Spadaro ’15 and Sam Stephenson ’15 organized the workshop for the newspaper staff members with Visiting Assistant Professor and Campus Adviser Cheryl Hatch.

“During last year’s photojournalism conference, we brought in Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers and designers and graduate students from Ohio University. That sparked a lot of passion within the newspaper and on campus,” said Stephenson, an English major with a focus on journalism. “So we decided to make this year’s Campus orientation a workshop to continue the momentum. That’s when Cheryl Hatch put us in touch with Bob Lynn.”

During the workshop, Lynn, who spent 17 years as an assistant managing editor/graphics at The Virginian-Pilot, shared advice on how to best use a photo and the importance of being a good writer.

“If you have a really powerful picture, you want to run it large enough so you can feel the emotion,” Lynn said. “And if you can express yourself in writing, no matter what you do in your future career, that will be to your advantage.”

The students hope to use Lynn’s advice as they work to enhance The Campus this year.

“We got to pick his brain about journalism and his knowledge of design,” Stephenson said. “He’s made himself available to us, which is amazing. We’re so honored that he’s here.”


“Bob is teaching us how important it is to have the visual aspect as well as the content when designing a paper; you need to be able to grab your readers and keep their attention,” added Spadaro, a biology major and English minor. “When we’re more mindful of that, it will make things more dynamic on the page.”

Lynn, who resides in Charleston, W.Va., also shared insights from his book, Vision, Courage & Heart. He said the principles in his book were instrumental in helping The Virginian-Pilot be recognized annually for its visual excellence.

“This is a remarkable opportunity for the students,” said Hatch, who worked with Lynn when she was a freelance photojournalist. “It’s good for the students to hear these tips from someone other than me. I want them to feel confident in what they do. Bob has left an amazing legacy of photographers. He’s a great contact and resource for them.”

Lynn said he enjoyed his time on Allegheny’s campus. “This is a great group of men and women,” he said about The Campus staff. “It’s been fun working with them.”

Source: Academics, Publications & Research