The Denver Post’s photo stories drive web, mobile growth

The Denver Post’s Tim Rasmussen held a talk at the 2011 AP Managing Editor’s conference. The Journal-Register’s Matt Derienzo live-tweeted some great tips for using photos to enhance your website and tell stories.

Craig Walker of the Denver Post won a 2010 Pulitzer Prize in photography for his photo essay following a young soldier from recruitment through deployment. I highly recommend you take a look – it’s fantastic. 

Project Main Menu – Ian Fisher – American Soldier | The Denver Post | From Basic Training to Iraq and Back | Photos, Videos, Extras
For 27 months, Ian Fisher, his parents and friends, and the U.S. Army allowed Denver Post photographer, Craig F. Walker, and reporters to watch and chronicle his recruitment, induction, training, deployment, and, finally, his return from combat.
The story behind The Denver Post photo Pulitzer — The Society for News Design — SND
In February, Craig F. Walker of the Denver Post earned a gold medal in SND’s Best of News Design competition for his story chronicling the journey of Ian Fisher from high school student to Iraq War veteran. It was one of only 5 gold medals awarded among over 10,000 entries in the competition.

One very important takeaway from Rasmussen’s conference talk: Photo galleries aren’t just traffic bait. They’re stories. 

Not just about volume of images. Edit every gallery well, says Denver Post’s Tim Rasmussen. Some small galleries do very well. #2011apme
mattderienzo
September 15, 2011
“Each little assignment can be a photo essay,” says Tim Rasmussen, Denver Post. High school sports one of best examples. #2011apme
mattderienzo
September 15, 2011
This one’s familiar: ABC7, where I work, also has a mug shot photo gallery. We put it up every Monday, now dubbed “Mug shot Monday.”
Approach to Denver Post photo site is like web itself: “Something for everyone.” Local/wire, award-winning shots and mug shots. #2011apme
mattderienzo
September 15, 2011
Some practical advice: Be fast, plan ahead.
Speed big emphasis, with local and wire photos. Gallery shells built ahead of time to get on web asap. Tim Rasmussen, Denver Post. #2011apme
mattderienzo
September 15, 2011
Speed important even when you don’t know full story behind breaking image: Denver’s Rasmussen. Appeal to crowd to help clarify. #2011apme
mattderienzo
September 15, 2011

The attention on photos paid off, especially on mobile devices.

Photo site grew 12,000 percent over past five years as Denver Post’s main site grew 300 percent. #2011apme
mattderienzo
September 15, 2011
Tablet and phone apps for Denver Post showed phenomenal user attraction to photos. Rebuilding to revolve around images. #2011apme
mattderienzo
September 15, 2011
The Denver Post isn’t the only paper to report this focus of mobile users on images. The Wall Street Journal, too, will beef up its multimedia offerings after seeing the audience’s and advertiser’s appetite for it.
Wall Street Journal expands video production for iPad audience | Poynter.
Beet.TV | Reuters | The New York Times The Wall Street Journal is expanding its production of live and recorded video to meet a growing demand from advertisers and iPad users. This week it launched the WSJ Live iPad app, with free access to about four hours of live video reports each day, plus on-demand clips.
This could be “golden age” for photo departments, when we can take “larger share” of nesroom activity, Tim Rasmussen, Denver Post #2011apme
mattderienzo
September 15, 2011

My favorite quote. This could be said for many new technologies. 

Tim Rasmussen of Denver Post: “You’re not a photographer. You’re a reporter with a camera.” Message to photogs: “Be journalists.” #2011apme
mattderienzo
September 15, 2011

Derienzo has also made his own Storify summary of the talk, which includes additional information on Rasmussen’s speech.

Tim Rasmussen, assistant managing editor for photography at the Denver Post, shared a workshop on “Transforming Your Photo Department in the Digital Age” September 15 at a joint conference of the Associated Press Media Editors (formerly Associated Press Managing Editors) and the Associated Press Photo Managers.

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