based in Salem, Oregon
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I am an award-winning professional picture editor who has helped photographers tell their stories and elevate their work, whether it was still images or video. Every photo project, every portfolio,...
My Photo Editor Mind - Photo Story/Projects Part 1
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
I’ve been talking to a lot of photographers lately about photo projects, so I thought I would do a multi-part series blog post on the subject. By no means will I cover every aspect, but here are a few things to consider.
There are so many aspects to doing a photo story, but let’s start out with why do you want to shoot one? What do you want to say? Is it a trend story? Does it have a news angle? Or is it something you want to shine a light on? If you don’t have a story in mind, I always think the more personal the more universal. Pick a topic that you care about. You will probably be more invested in the story.
I’m not trying to be funny, but ask this of yourself honestly. Are you doing a story because really successful photographers do stories and you think you should too? As I’ve said before, there is a place for all types of photography in this world, so be true to yourself.
How long should you spend on a story? I know people who spend years, and I know people who spend a week. Think about the way you shoot, and ask yourself if you’re the kind of person who gets bored after a week. There’s nothing wrong with that, but maybe a really long-term project isn’t right for you. If you don’t spend 2 years on a massive and complex story, are you a bad photographer? Goodness no. Depending on the topic, a well-shot and well-planned one-week story can be just as hard-hitting as a year-long story.
As both a photographer and photo editor, I’ve always been drawn to longer term projects. I like getting completely immersed in a story, the same reason I choose novels over short stories. I never read short stories. They lack the intimacy I require to be immersed in a topic, but that’s just me.
Set yourself up for success! You don’t want to start a story, and then after a month, you are no longer interested and quit. You might feel like a failure, so be mindful of who you are and what you can accomplish. With the success of completing a task comes confidence in yourself.