Eyetracking Photojournalism is research for the National Press Photographers Association.
In an age where images are instantaneous and easily shared, what characteristics make a photograph worth publishing and sharing? We explore how people perceive the quality of photographs — from those taken by seasoned professionals to cellphone images that capture everyday life. The research combines eyetrack testing with extensive interviews asking people their thoughts on storytelling, quality and what makes images memorable. Among our findings: people value images that reflect their lives and give context to the world around them. As consumers navigate a glut of visual clutter, they are developing a new language on images. The implications inform journalists, brand advocates and community activists. Ultimately, the findings help us understand how social media impacts democracy.