20170708 L1023122

DMPS photographer Jon Lemons takes a group photo with a Rolleiflex camera at the CGCS public relations meeting.

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. With that old adage in mind, two members of the communications team at Des Moines Public Schools gave a presentation on education and photography at the Council of the Great City Schools’ annual Public Relations Executives meeting in San Antonio, TX.

DMPS educators frequently share their expertise and experience at national conferences. So, too, do our communications staff.

man speaking at podium to meeting

DMPS communications director Phil Roeder speaks about the importance of education and photography at a CGCS meeting.

Communications director Phil Roeder and photographer Jon Lemons presented to the CGCS meeting about the approach DMPS takes to photography and making it a key part of how the school district shares news, information and stories.

“While photography has documented education for more than a hundred years, it is now more important than ever in bringing people in to our schools to see the good work of our teachers and students,” said Roeder. “Today, photography is omnipresent and immediate, making it a critical tool in telling our story.”

Roeder noted that DMPS uses photojournalistic-style images for frequent and regular updates to its web site and social media pages, as well as in a range of publications and marketing materials.

Lemons presented the five elements that he looks for to create a compelling image: light, subject, background, composition and the moment.

“The moment is the life and essence of a photograph,” said Lemons. “It’s what gives life to an image, and makes it interesting.”

You can see a slide show of their presentation to the CGCS meeting in the upper right hand corner of this story.

Both Lemons and Roeder are accomplished photographers. Each had photos exhibited last winter at the Des Moines Art Center. A photo Lemons took of a violinist at Hoover High School was selected by the Iowa School Public Relations Association as the best image of 2016. A photo Roeder took at an event for immigrant and refugee families was selected for an exhibit this summer at the Aperture Foundation gallery in New York City.

See more of the school district’s photography work on our Flickr or Instagram pages.

CGCS is an organization that brings together 68 of the nation’s largest urban public school systems, including DMPS, in a coalition dedicated to the improvement of education for children.

Published on