Photo Credit: Alfredo Jeff
Award winning New York Daily News Photographer Todd Maisel came to York College on March 21st to speak to Journalism Students about his experience in photojournalism.
Todd Maisel began working for the New York Daily News in 1999. He won Photographer of the year in 1998 by the New York Press Photographer Association. Maisel is currently the President of the National Press Photographers Association.
He was also awarded Humanitarian award by the NPPA for his work during 9/11. Maisel had saved the life of a firefighter and of Photographer David Hendschech. 15 of Maisel’s photos were used by various news sources after 9/11.
Todd Maisel came to a Journalism class and held an open discussion with the students. He told students his experiences shooting news based photojournalism and lent his advice.
“When you’re shooting news photography you want to avoid lighting it up,” said Todd Maisal.
Maisel explained that when shooting News Photography that using natural light is the best option because the flash may make the picture lose its quality.
Todd Maisel showed pictures he had taken during various tragedies such as 9/11, the earthquake in Haiti and the most recent tragedy of Hurricane Sandy.
“It was some pretty hard pictures,” said Maisel when discussing his time in Haiti.
The students focused in on how to keep professional even after seeing such devastating and tragic events.
“Dead bodies is not necessarily what gets me, it’s the reaction that’s around me, I kind of feed off the emotion of others,” said Maisel, “You almost see it like a prop until you see a dead guy on the ground and his mother or sister or someone leaning over them crying, that’s when it gets you, Maisel added.
Maisel had to see many of his colleagues get hurt or lose cameras during 9/11. He talked about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many photographers had suffered from this after covering 9/11 and other tragedies. But he explains that this is one of the struggles that come with being in the Journalism field.
“My emotions are very up and down,” said Maisel, “We all had nightmares, we had nervous breakdowns and we couldn’t pick up a camera for a while.”
Maisel told students about the adventures of trying to find news stories. Maisel also talked about the struggle it can be to deal with cops at times. He reminisced of times where he was given a problem when he had to take pictures. He told students to know where they can and cannot take pictures but also how to deal with the cops who don’t know the difference.
“Zip it. Keep your mouth shut. Don’t say a word. If they say something you don’t like, don’t say anything,” said Todd Maisel.
Todd Maisel came to York College to help the Journalism students have a better understanding of the field they are entering. He also wanted to show students more efficient ways of using photography.
Maisel left students with one more piece of advice, “You realize that there are priorities in your life and you must go on even if you don’t think you can go on anymore.”