A long time ago when I was young and foolish, I spent six months covering a story with the idea that if I shot enough rolls of film, I would have a story…automatically! Wrong! I had to learn this the hard way, so learn from my mistakes, don’t be me.
I would suggest you do this when planning your story.
Going back to the recession family mentioned in Part 2, the parents lost their jobs and because of this they have to leave their home. Think of all the ways you need to tell this story. First, we need a family shot; so begins the shot list. Think of different ways you can shoot this; no I’m not talking about the family portraits framed on the wall; that’s not enough, but maybe they have dinner together, go to church together, or go to the daughter’s softball game together. If you can’t think of different possibilities, then maybe this is a great question to ask them. Now you do this with everything: Where are they moving? Are they apartment hunting, looking online? Are the parents (or older children) looking for work? What are the parts that will tell this story? Once that is done, come up with ten variations on each theme. The point of all of this is to start thinking about your narrative; this is the first step. If you don’t think about your narrative until after you are finished shooting, you might miss some great shots. Of course, there will be surprises and unplanned events you can’t anticipate, but figuring out the narrative beforehand will give you a roadmap to success.
Next week, starting to shoot your story.
For previous parts go to maryvignoles.com