A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Laura is thinking of majoring in psychology and journalism once she goes to college.

As the overused yet truthful proverb goes, “a picture’s a thousand words.”In some circumstances, a picture can convey an emotion or message far better than a collection of words. If one looks at photographs like Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, they are able to tell the audience a story while also spreading awareness of a pressing societal issue. Laura Stancato greatly believes in the power of pictures.

While at Ball State University’s Journalism Day, Laura met Professor Martin Smith-Rodden, who taught an advocacy photojournalism class. What really intrigued Laura was that Smith-Rodden used his psychology degree in complement to his work as a photojournalist. This made Laura realize that she could combine her interest in photography, journalism and mental illness in order to make a difference.

Having close relationships with people who have mental illnesses, mental health is a topic that Laura holds very dear. She’s seen how society doesn’t understand how serious mental illness is. She’s seen people, particularly children, with mental illnesses not receive the proper help from their community or be pushed aside. What might be something innocuous like crying spells might in reality be an early sign of depression, which will only become worse if unaddressed.

One photojournalist whose work Laura greatly admires is Jenn Ackerman. She is heavily inspired by Ackerman’s “Trapped,” a series of photographs that documents mentally ill inmates in Kentucky State Reformatory.

Even though Laura has not made her decision on where to go, she has already thought of her future. This is something that not everybody can do.