Today I Met New York Times-Published Photographer Adam Glanzman

Photojournalist Adam Glanzman presents to a Northeastern University class. Photo: 2016 by Georgeanne Oliver

I’d like to deviate a bit from my usual topic today and talk about an event I witnessed that might be of some interest to my fellow journalists, or to anyone interested in photography.

In my class on digital journalism, we had a presentation from guest Adam Glanzman. Glanzman is a staff photographer at Northeastern University, which I attend. He’s responsible for taking photos for Northeastern’s daily emails and monthly magazines, as well as for the university’s website.

But he was in class today to speak about his other, slightly more glamorous venture: photo journalism. Glanzman has been published all over, but the focus of today was his series this month in the New York Times, “The 75-Year-Old Arm Wrestler.” It follows arm wrestler Norm Devio and consisted of 12 photographs, though Glanzman estimates he took around 5000.

He said he had trouble getting ahold of Devio, because the athlete didn’t use much modern communications technology, but managed to reach him through a friend of Devio’s. Glanzman did the series on his own, but a New York Times editor saw some of his work and contacted him. 

Glanzman said the editor kept asking him to re-edit and keep shooting. He requested things like ender shots and humanizing photos. The two didn’t always feel the same way about every photo.

“Sometimes you don’t see eye-to-eye with your editor and that’s okay,” Glanzman said.

The series was shot with a digital camera in color but later converted to black and white. Glanzman felt the dark basement pictures he took for the series looked better without color.

In terms of advice, he suggested that photographers include scene-establishing shots, character shots, detail shots and portraits, among others, in photo essays.

Though he said they don’t work as well in dark areas, he occasionally does use iPhones as a photographer.

“If you feel like you could take a more intimate photo and not maybe get in the way with your big camera, and an iPhone is appropriate, then that’s fine,” he said.


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