Magazines and other publications often feature a series of photographs or a montage of images devoted to many subjects. It’s a great storytelling idea. All you need to do is look through a good magazine or two, or attend an exhibition you might like - World Press Photo is a great example - and you’ll see firsthand how a series of photos can combine to convey both impressions and emotions, and also tell a compelling story.
It’s a great starting point to get your creative juices flowing when you’re in search of inspiration. Maybe you should get out there and shoot a couple of photo essays, just for the practice. You might get hooked! If you belong to a photo club, a photo essay contest is a great way to breathe new life into monthly challenges among members.
Of course, there are remarkable photos taken in war zones, sporting events and plane crashes, but you don’t need to go out on a long assignment to put together your first attempts. Everyday life can be a source of inspiration and offers many opportunities for good photography. Creating your own assignment gives you a chance to sharpen your photo instincts and work on your technique.
This very simple example tells the story of a young girl’s visit to the hairdresser. It captures a regular event that most people go through without a second thought, yet now your modest essay can become a family favorite that will make you smile and share fond memories.
Just as a photojournalist would do, think of getting backup images that might help tell the story. Document everything visible and any detail that might have meaning. In our modest sample here, the photos include the young girl’s arrival, the exterior sign, the album where she chose the day’s new look, the actual cut, the hair on the floor and the final result.
Not an earth-shattering, news-breaking story, but a moment worth saving. And a great way to prepare for your next assignment!