Photos are an important part of a story. They are what attracts readers to your story, whether it is a news story or a blog post. With that said, you will want to use photos that show what is interesting about your story and why people should read it.
Many readers will not bother to continue reading past the images if your images do not sell the story well enough. This pressure can be tough on a journalist. It is important to deliver, but never feel the need to manipulate a news story in order to gain a high click rate.
This should NEVER be done, just as a journalist should never alter or fabricate the truth of a story. This compromises your integrity, judgement and work ethic.
However, editing photos is OK. Editing a photo is simply changing the photo’s aesthetics. Manipulating changes the truth. For example, an edit to a photo would be the use of the cropping tool and turning the photo black and white. Manipulating a photo would be adding to, or completely erasing parts, of the photo. This is usually done with Photoshop.
Below you will see a photo that has not been edited and another that has.
Do you notice anything different between the two photos? Well, the first one is the original photo, unedited on a hot Fourth of July day. The second has been altered. I used Picmonkey and started with a small crop. Next, I used the color boost tool and finally the manipulation began with erasing my son completely out of the photo. This is the difference between editing and manipulation.
I used the clone function to duplicate a spot of water and covered him up. By looking at the edited photo, you cannot tell that I was swimming with my kids, as it appears that I was only in the pool with the baby. This is actually the first time I have used this tool and think that it went perfect for the point that I am trying to convey. I’m sure that with practice, I can make some believable edits, not that I will be needing much of this type.
So, be mindful of the edits that you use and choose wisely! Your audience will appreciate an honest photo.