Vincent Laforet on visual web & future of news

Photographer and filmmaker Vincent Laforet has climbed to the top of the Empire State Building. He’s shot night aerials of New York City from 7,500 feet high. But when I talked with him earlier this year, he wondered, “Is there such thing as a real event?”

You’d think the crazy winds at high altitudes might have convinced him of their reality, but that’s not exactly what he meant. “Is a press conference real, is a press photo op real?” he continued, describing what it’s often like to be in the media these days. “When people take selfies, that’s not real either. It’s all fake, yet it represents something….Everyone produces media these days. We all have iPhones, smartphones and cameras.”

That can be both good and bad. For photojournalists, it means that as skilled as they are, they can’t ever “compete with someone who was there at the moment [an event] happened.”

But so many citizen journalists and new platforms can also provide a powerful new way to communicate. After shooting his aerial NYC photos for a magazine, Vincent decided his job wasn’t finished. He uploaded them to Storehouse, and they went viral. Vincent says photojournalists need to think in creative ways like this. “People will always gravitate toward quality content,” he said. “Storytelling is as old as cave drawings. That’s not going away.”

Continue reading the complete interview with Vincent on

Vincent Laforet

Photographer and film director Vincent Laforet has worked for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, National Geographic and more, and in 2002 he won a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his coverage of post-9/11 events in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Vincent lives in New York and Los Angeles, where he directs commercials for brands like … Continue reading Vincent Laforet