Lessons Cannes Lions delegates can take away from award-winning photojournalists Lynsey Addario and Brent Stirton on compelling storytelling

June 24, 2016 • Company News, Photojournalism

In an awe-inspiring session in the Lumiere Theatre, photojournalist, author and subject of an upcoming Jennifer Lawrence film, Lynsey Addario and South African photojournalist Brent Stirton shared their visual stories from the frontline, giving delegates a unique perspective on how they can reach their audiences 

Cannes – 23 June 2016: In a powerful presentation which no-one is likely to forget, award-winning photojournalist, author and subject of an upcoming Steven Spielberg-directed Jennifer Lawrence film, Lynsey Addario and award-winning South African photojournalist Brent Stirton spoke from the Lumiere Theatre stage, sharing their experiences working in some of the most remote and troubled places on earth. In a frank Q&A with Getty Images CEO Dawn Airey, the Getty Images Reportage photojournalists talked delegates through:

  • how they approach evergreen themes such as conflict and sustainability in new and creative ways to find a connection with audiences;
  • how to generate an emotional connection between your audience and subject matter;
  • and how they build trust to communicate the world’s important humanitarian issues.

A selection of the speaker comments are included below for your reference

On storytelling:

  • Brent Stirton: “For me coming out of conventional photojournalism, reporting on the massacre of the silverback gorillas I was able to do something useful – and I think it’s the same for all of us, whether you are selling cars or selling an issue, to feel that you are useful, beyond your own self and your family, that’s what we strive for.”

On finding new and creativity ways to approach an evergreen theme in storytelling:

  • Brent Stirton: “We are like you – we strategise. You must see past the brief.”
  • Brent Stirton: “How we keep stories fresh is, a constant juggling of how to reinterpret the aesthetics at hand.”
  • Lynsey Addario:The question for us is, ‘how do we get people to care about things they are tired of seeing’…So you tell as many aspects of any story that you can.”

On building empathy in storytelling:

  • Lynsey Addario: “People have an entry point into a story when they see something they can relate to.”
  • Lynsey Addario: “My goal is to get the viewer to ask questions – ‘where are we, what’s going on, why do I care about this picture, why should I care about this picture’.”

On building trust in your subject and in your audience:

  • Brent Stirton: “We get access because of absolute honesty. That is at the heart of our jobs. You must win the trust of your subjects.”

The panel session has been recorded and is available to view on the Cannes Lions Youtube channel.


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