Avoiding Photographic Cliches
Recognizing and avoiding overused and trite imagery
What is a cliche?
Random examples of check awards, line-ups and ribbon cutting ceremony news photos found by Google.
A cliche is an expression overused to the point where it has lost its original meaning. Most phrases considered to be cliches were once regarded as meaningful, but lost their force through overuse.
Today, the term cliche refers to an action or idea which is predictable.
A cliche is not always inaccurate and may or may not be true. Some cliches are stereotypes, but some are simply truisms and facts.
Source: Wikipedia »
What is a photo cliche?
Examples of cliche news photos
- A photo cliche is an image very similar to others seen many times before.
Sometimes cliche photos are referred to as overused, overdone, overworked, worn out, timeworn, platitudinous, vapid, stale, tired, threadbare; trite, banal, commonplace, stereotyped, predictable; unimaginative, unoriginal, uninspired, prosaic, dull, boring, pedestrian, run-of-the-mill, boilerplate, routine; old hat or played out.
- A non-cliche photo is one that differs in some way from others with the same general description even if it reflects subject matter that is well known.
Sometimes a non-cliche image is referred to as a new or different approach that is creative, imaginative, innovative, experimental, original, artistic, expressive, inspired or visionary.
Most news photojournalists try to avoid these hackneyed images:
- Check awards photos in which a person may be seen handing an oversized cardboard check to grant award recipients.
- Line-up awards photos show people of momentary note standing against a wall or sitting together during a picture-taking session.
- Ribbon-cutting ceremony photos show people gathered at a grand opening of a new facility.
Some random local examples
- Foundation fund raising check »
- Health volunteers honored »
- Golfers raise funds »
- Charity gets donation »
- Event targets child abuse »
- Alumni honored at banquet »
- Golfing event »
- Recognized for service »
- Event draws thousands »
- Commissioner speaks to group »
- Cliche - Wikipedia »
- Kitsch - Wikipedia »
- Stock photography - Wikipedia »
- Popular culture - Wikipedia »
- Popular Culture in America »
Resources for Courses »
© 2011 Dr. Anthony Curtis, Mass Communication Dept., University of North Carolina at Pembroke 910.521.6616 e-mail home page
The names Second Life and Linden Lab, and the hand logo and logotype, are registered trademarks of Linden Research Inc.