How Photography Caused the Toilet Paper Famine (Misleading Photojournalism)


The toilet paper famine is STUPID. The cause, however, is fundamental to how photojournalists capture images that accompany news stories. Visual storytelling that will be consumed by mass audiences must be simple – the entire image must support the thesis of the underlying story. This leads photojournalists to seek out visually exaggerated stories. In this video, I give you my theory on how photojournalism’s tendency to seek out hyperbolic visual stories led people to panic about a toilet paper shortage that wasn’t really there – which in turned caused a very real toilet paper shortage. I’ll also dig into other images, including the spring breakers in Florida, and misleading pictures that show almost no traffic in LA or Times Square. I’ll show you how those pictures are taken and teach you the basic rules of timing and composition so that you can create more powerful images of your own… though hopefully you’l use this power carefully!


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