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NIGHT/Holocaust Photo Essay

Holocaust Survivors of Ebensee Camp, Austria, May 1945
                                                   Works Cited 
“Holocaust Survivors of Ebensee Camp 1945.” ISurvived, Nature Quest Publications,
         isurvived.org/Pictures_iSurvived-4/ebensee-survivors.GIF. Accessed 20 Jan. 2017. 
Photo essays tell stories with pictures in ways that words cannot. They show us the faces of joy, pain, pride and fear.

Step One

In this assignment you will create your own photo essay. To help prepare you for this you should review some other photo essays.

Select five photo essays from the Time website listed below.

Time Photos

Use this site to find examples of photo essays. Click on at least five different photo essays to see what a photo essay is, what they look like, how they are laid out, etc.

While viewing these photo essays , make note of things like:

  1. Did the photographer use staged photos, candid photos or both?
  2. Color or B&W? Did it make a difference? What factors contributed to the selection of one over the other?
  3. How close does the subject feel in the photo?
  4. How much narration and text support the essay?
  5. What is your reaction to the essay. Do all photo essays illicit a reaction in the viewer?

Example Holocaust Photo Essay (to be viewed as an example ONLY!)

Holocaust Photo Essay example

Step Two

Assignment – Photo Essay

Just like a written essay, you should brainstorm information on your topic, gather information, and use that information in your essay – but your information will primarily be what’s provided through photographs. As well, your essay should have a title and you should plan your essay, organizing it with an introduction, body and conclusion – it should flow and make sense as your reader goes through the photos.


  1. Brainstorm topics that relate to the Holocaust/ or Night.
  2. Write out a draft of your main idea, make sure it reflects what you want to get across to your reader about the camps.
  3. Search for and gather images that fit your topic.
  4. Share your ideas with a classmate in order to get feedback.
  5. Once you have some or all of your images gathered, show them to someone else and share your plan for how those images will be arranged.
  6. Create a draft of your essay to show to a classmate for feedback – for example, can your classmate easily identify your main idea?
  7. Revise your photo-essay by rearranging the photographs, or gathering other photographs to include or substitute.
  8. Text in your photo essay should take the form of captions and must include information about the camps – you may use information provided in existing captions, but your own paraphrased information must be present!
  9. Create a final layout (the order in which you will put things together) of your photographs.
  10. Write a paragraph in which you explain, as the author, your purpose in creating the photo-essay, this paragraph – called an “Artist’s Statement” – should be the last frame of your power point. (for further clarification, you can see sample artist’s statements here: Art Study link.
  11. Your work cited page, in MLA format, will be printed and turned in separately.


  1. Create a slide show with one photo per slide.
  2. Minimum of 15 photos. All photographs must be cited!
  3. Single theme or “story” for the essay
  4. Consider the following in choosing your photographs and their layout:
    • Color or B&W
    • Composition
    • Angle and distance to subject
    • Candid or posed photos?
  5. Consider the need for text to accompany each photograph. If you choose to include text it should be in the form of captions (see directions above).
  6. Share your completed slide show with me.
  7. Look through the following websites to get ideas for your assignment and to gather the photos for your photo essay. Be sure you keep track of what pictures you will use and where they came from so you can cite them.


Illinois University  –  Example Photo Essay

Holocaust Photos

Galleries of Holocaust Images – history

Remembering the Holocaust – History.com

The Concentration Camps – History.com

More Concentration Camps -- History.com

US Holocaust Museum Image Gallery

Life – Photos from the Liberation of Buchenwald

Survivors Photo Gallery – Family Photos, Photos of Families, Photos of Survivors

Survivor Artwork

Art of Survivor Jan Komski

Art of Children from the Holocaust

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