Award winning photojournalist Todd Maisel visited York College on Thursday March 21st. Maisel currently works for the New York Daily News as a photographer. In addition he is also National Director of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). Maisel has been a photographer for 28 years and is very dedicated to his profession. For someone that has been working for 28 years as a photographer he is still enthusiastic and committed.
Maisel said “when taking a picture try to capture the emotions of that person.” Maisel showed pictures he took of Sept. 11th, the Earthquake in Haiti and Hurricane Sandy. All of these pictures that were shown depicted something different and the emotion of that person was captured. Maisel is best known for his work with the Sept.11th tragedy, in which he helped his fellow colleagues get out of danger. He said “9/11 set the tone for the way I handle disasters.” After this tragedy Maisel developed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Maisel said “he wondered how so many people died that day, but he was still alive.” In the wake of the Sept.11th tragedy Maisel spoke about how it’s not always about being a journalist and trying to capture a picture or getting a good story, it’s about being a human being and trying to help others.
After Sept.11th many photojournalists couldn’t pick up and camera, some couldn’t even go back to work because of the injuries and stress they experienced. But not Todd Maisel, even though he was affected by Sept.11th, he remains dedicated to his profession. Maisel always has his police radio on and he is ready to go when he hears about a new story.
Maisel spoke about his visit to Haiti after the Earthquake; he described how many people died and those that were still suffering from injuries. Maisel tried to help as much as he possibly could; he said “finding someone alive made my day”. He also said not all the pictures he took were used in newspaper. As a photojournalist you have a choice to use a photo if you want to or not, you should make a judgment call on if this is appropriate to the victim’s family.
Maisel spoke about Hurricane Sandy and how it affected people. He showed photos of homes in Breezy Point that were on fire. He said “I like to get close; I want to capture the look on the guy’s face.” Maisel also spoke about black and white pictures, according to him “black and white pictures sometimes sets you apart, it makes the picture stark.” Maisel’s message in his photography is “Don’t forget it”; always remember the feelings and emotions of that event. Maisel also said “I want to show you stuff you haven’t seen.” Not all pictures makes it in the newspaper, sometimes they are too controversial. An important piece of advice from Todd Maisel was not to be too narrow in what you do, if its photography or anything else. If you are too narrow you will become a victim of it.