Margaret Wroblewski’s Personal Statement


My grandparents’ house was in the quiet town of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, known for the Pennsylvania Dutch, whoopie pies, dairy farms, and the smell of manure. Due to a tragic accident, I never met my grandparents, but I still honor the family tradition of visiting the home filled with antiques and old family photographs.

 
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When we were younger, my cousins and I entertained ourselves by biking to the local Dairy Queen ice cream stand, playing hide-and-go- seek in the corn fields, and acting out fantasies. One day, as I was searching for something to do, I found my grandparents’ large collection of National Geographic magazines. For hours, I flipped through every page while I sat in my grandfather’s large leather armchair. I recall the beauty and stillness within each photograph.

 
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The radiant photos featured within the bright yellow rectangle on each cover conveyed the inconceivable depth and beauty of the world. The photos painted pictures and told stories of different worlds outside the quaint farm fields of Ephrata.

 
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Different Worlds Outside

stories to be told


Triumphant and tragic stories -- a Syrian boy on the beach, a migrant mother nursing an infant, or war refugee from Vietnam. These photographs made an instant emotional connection with me. Little did I know then that someday taking similar photographs would be my life’s calling.

 
 Lewis Hine

Lewis Hine

 Marc Riboud

Marc Riboud

 Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus

 
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I use my camera to take photographs that connect instantly with the viewer. When a person walks into a bookstore or searches the Internet, it is the photos that first draw us in and pique our curiosity and interest.

The photographs help us to connect, inquire, understand, and care. At George Washington University today, I am relentlessly pursuing the dream of capturing images that tell stories and freeze time. Photographs are vital for understanding history and culture, as well establishing our own identities. Photos provide glimpses into other lives, times, and places. Photographs guide us in understanding our individual identities and humanity on a deeper level like no other tool of storytelling.

This is why photojournalism matters…

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telling the truth

 
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, capturing culture

 
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and facing reality

 

Within the field of photojournalism, 85% to 90% of the imagery is created by men. For example, 90% of the pictures carried on the front page of The New York Times are photographed by men.



This completely changes the perspective when a photograph is taken through the male lens. Where are the photos taken from a female perspective? I am compelled to share my perspective and fulfill my duty as a storyteller.


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Sitting in a large leather armchair, I was a bright-eyed little girl when I discovered those National Geographics. Those old magazines were a message from my grandparents to inspire me to tell the next story.




Contact Margaret Wroblewski for an interview.

margaret.wroblewski@gmail.com