A photo essay is very simply a collection of images that are placed in a specific order to tell the progression of events, emotions, and concepts. Used by world class photojournalists such as Lauren Greenfield and James Nachtwey, and Joachim Ladefoged to name a few, the photo essay takes the same story telling techniques as a normal essay, translated into visual images. Every human being is drawn to stories. Whether you are an amateur or a professional, the photo essay is a brilliant way to bring your images to life and touch your family, friends, and coworkers.
Photo essays are most dynamic when you as the photographer care about the subject. Whether you choose to document the first month of a newborn in the family, the process of a school drama production, or even a birthday party, make your topic something in which you find interest. Do your research h: Discover who the parents are, what culture they are from, whether they are upper or lower class.
If you photograph a birthday party, check out the theme, the decorations they plan on using, what the birthday kid hopes to get for his or her gifts. All of these factors will help you in planning out the type of shots you set up for your story. After your research, you can determine the angle you want to take your story.
Is the newborn the first son of a wealthy family on whom the family legacy will continue? Or does the baby have a rare heart condition? Is the drama production an effort to bring the student body together? Or is it featuring a child star? Is the birthday party for an adolescent turning 13, or the last birthday of a dying cancer patient? Though each story idea is the same, the main factors of each story create an incredibly unique story.
Every dynamic story is built on a set of core values and emotions that touch the heart of its audience. By definition, a photographic essay is a set or series of photographs intended to tell a story or evoke emotions. It can be only images, images with captions, or images with full text.
In short, it can be almost anything you want it to be. Which is where I struggle most—when the options are limitless. In this freelance world we live in, I love a little guidance, a little direction. While I continue my quest for that, I offer you these 5 tips for creating your own, completely without bounds, photographic essay:. I was photographing so many of the same clients year after year that I wanted to be able to offer them a different spin on the portrait sessions I was doing for them.
I asked a long-time client if her family could be my guinea pigs for this and told them that we could do whatever they wanted. We went out for ice cream, had a mini dance party in their living room, and I photographed a tooth that had been lost that very morning. I rushed home after the session and edited those last note pictures first just because they were so different from what I usually shoot, and posted them on my personal Facebook page the heading Notes Girls Write.
Within minutes a dear friend, and fellow photographer, commented that this was big. Bigger than just the two pictures. She and I would spend the next year working on a photo essay that became a blog, that in turn became a book entitled Notes Girls Write. We photographed hundreds of women of all ages with their notes, each one later expressing having their portrait taken with their own words was an extremely powerful moment for them. It evolved on its own, starting from a few similar photographs that struck a cord in viewers and becoming a large and powerful project, one of the biggest markers in my career so far.
Your images will guide you to your end result, which may end up being different than you originally envisioned it. These dogs live in foster homes while they receive medical care and basic training so that they can be adopted out to loving homes.
Especially when I had hardwood floors. I knew from the first time I met the transport van I wanted to document what it looked like: I tear-up every time I see it. I am also put to work every time I am there, so taking photos while holding onto a pound German Shepard is tough. I have no idea what I will be doing with these photos. I know they will find a home somewhere: If you think there is something to it, there likely is.
Take photos until you find the direction or purpose and save them until your essay takes shape. You may not end up using all, or any of the images, but in continuing to take photographs, your project will be defined. Let me take a hundred so we know we have it.
Luckily for my bad habit, the photographic essay needs over shooting. Whether you know what your plan is, or have no idea want your end result will look like, the more coverage you have, the better. This is one of the few times I push my luck and ask my subjects to work for me until they never want to see me again I only photograph people though, so if you are photographing mountains or something, you have the added advantage of not pushing people until they cry or yell.
You may end up trashing everything, or you may not.
Photo essays are typically either thematic (addressing a specific topic or issue) or narrative (tells a story, usually in chronological sequence). Following are ten photo essays ideas to consider Photo Essay #1: Document a Local Event.
Dec 25, · In college I tried to do a photo essay on an idea that was given to me by my professor. My heart wasn't in it because it wasn't MY idea and so the photos that came out of it were mediocre at best. I could list lots of topics that I think would make good photo essays - but they would be my ideas not.
On this page you can download free Photo Essay Examples, find out how to write Photo Essays on any Topic. You will get information about Photo Essays and Photo Essay Ideas, find out Photography Essay Topics and Photo Essay Techniques. The 30 Best Photo Essay Topics for High School Students. A photo essay is indeed one of the most interesting projects during high school. The traditional style of essay writing can get monotonous for students.
A photo essay consists of a series of images related specifically to a topic or subject that interests you; you photograph with the sole intent of telling a story (either narratively or thematically) that takes shape over a number of shots. Some people like very narrative photo essays, but there are other ways to compile a photo essay as well. Another common kind of topic is the variation on a theme.