NEF Photo/Story Challenge

Jul 6, 2018

Thank you for your interest in participating! Here again are some of the details: 

The Challenge: To gather an impact story with accompanying photos from an individual or group who have benefited from NEF’s help within the 2017 and 2018 calendar years.

The Purpose: To provide NEF’s funders and donors with illustrative examples of how our work is changing people’s lives.

The Pay Off: Three winners will be selected in total. The first place winner will receive a new iPhone. The second place winner will receive a new digital camera with a zoom lens. The third place winner will receive a new “point and shoot” digital camera.

Submissions Must Include: 

At least 3 photos: These should include a medium to close up portrait of the person or people that the story pertains to, a wide contextual photo of the person/people in their environment, and a detail photo of them performing an action. (If the story is on an individual, extra points given for a fourth picture of them with their family.)

A story or short summary that includes: Who they are (history, family, current situation, what they care about, biggest challenges etc. How their involvement with NEF has impacted their life, both tangibly and emotionally.

Some Direct Quotes: from the person/people being profiled.

All submissions must be made on or before September 14, 2018. Participation is not mandatory but I do hope that you will participate and that you have a lot of fun with it!

DISCLAIMER: 1) All individuals included in the photos must sign NEF’s STANDARD RELEASE FORM. 2) No one should sacrifice their personal safety to gather a story or photo. 3) We must respect the privacy of anyone who decides that they do not want their photo taken.

Examples and Tips

Below are some examples of the types of photos to keep in mind and some other helpful tips. Please also find the Arabic, French, and English translations of the challenge flyer by scrolling all the way down. Please contact Kristin Sheehan with any questions or suggestions by phone, email, or skype
+1 315-928-3453
skype: kristin.sheehan7


Example 1: Extreme Close Up



Example 2: Regular Close Up



Example 3: Medium Shots


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Example 4: Action and Detail Shots





Example 5: Wide (Contextual) Shots – Shows Environment





Example 6: Pictures with Family




The most important part of any photo is that the subject is in focus. Take your time to set up a steady shot and make sure that you know how to use the auto-focus and manual-focus (if it has one) functions on the camera that you are using.

2015_Palestine_Newhouse Media_Life of a Palestinian Farmer_Nahed Kayed_106

Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is applied by aligning a subject with the guidelines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section. (NOTE: If you have an iPhone you can go into settings>camera and turn on the Grid option which will make this grid automatically appear on your screen when you are taking photos. This feature is on many other phone cameras and regular cameras as well.)

A moment can make all the difference between an acceptable photo and amazing photo that captures the essence of a person. Compose your image, have a great light and then wait for your moment!

Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 12.59.17 PM




Interview Do’s

We are trying to find out how people’s lives have been impacted by NEF’s work. Sometimes this is obvious (increased income, more food security) but sometimes it is more subtle (increase in confidence and motivation). Here are some tips that may help you find out about some of the less obvious impacts. 

  1. Give a little bit of yourself if you expect them to give back. Be honest, empathize, share a bit about yourself and make eye contact.
  2. Do your research beforehand and order questions from easiest to hardest (least sensitive to most sensitive). Think about the story you want to tell and what questions will help you tell that story. (I can help you with developing questions! -Kristin)
  3. The “Dumb Dog” head tilt: When your subject makes statements that don’t make clear sense just look at them with a tilted head and puzzled face, as if you don’t understand. Don’t speak, just let them continue to explain it in another way.  
  4. Ask open-ended questions (“Tell me about…”, “How did you feel when…”) and try to jot down some exact quotes that will help tell their story.
  5. A great way to get a deeper interview is to have them go through old photographs or special items that they have on display in their home.  Ask them to talk about that day the photo was taken or why that heirloom means something to them.
  6. People tend to go off in a direction you didn’t think your interview would go. If you have the time, let them go. You will often get your best material from these situations. If you don’t have the time, don’t be afraid to politely step in and steer them back to the subject at hand. Sometimes you just have to ask the question again. 
  7. At the end of every interview always ask, “Is there anything I should have asked but didn’t?” 

Interview Dont’s 

  1. Avoid Yes and No questions
  2. Try not to rush. Spend some time chatting before diving right into the interview questions – try to make the interview as conversational as possible.





French_Photo-story contest2


 NEF Photo-story contest




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