A photo essay is an interesting way to tell a story or showcase a theme. You can pick any type of topic and genre, and there are many ways to create yours!
A photo essay typically starts with setting a tone and environment. Then, you find yourself taking lots of pictures quickly (this could be in a still form like a portrait or a time lapse video). After that, you use editing software to combine, edit, and organize your photos into scenes and rounds of content.
You can then write some brief notes about each shot to give it context and add more flavor to the image. Last, you’re able to publish your photo essay online so other people can view and admire it.
Photo essays are definitely not for beginners, but they are very popular. There are plenty of sites where you can upload and share yours! Many have free versions too so you should try one out.
Finding your photos
When creating a photo essay, there is an initial step to get the ball rolling. You will need to find your story!
Finding your story can be tricky at times. Most likely you have a few stories that you want to tell, but it may take some time to determine which ones are best for a new chapter of your life.
You do not necessarily have to use photography as your main tool. Writing or drawing a narrative account of events is just as effective.
It is totally okay if writing is more natural to you than taking pictures– after all, we were born with words! Just make sure you feel comfortable using both mediums, and know how to use each one independently.
There are many ways to gather information about your stories. Ask family, friends, and colleagues, search online, conduct interviews, and so on.
Choosing your theme
A photo essay is an interesting way to combine pictures with written content. Yours does not have to be completely photography-focused, but it must include at least one picture per page.
The topic of your piece should be clearly related to photos or images. It can be anything from celebrating someone’s birthday to discussing how to take good care of yourself.
Your writer will need you to choose his or her favorite photographs and create a short story inspired by them.
This process is very similar to writing a normal article except there are no bullet points used as breaks between ideas.
Creating your theme
As mentioned before, your photo essay does not have a specific topic or narrative. Rather, it is an extended collection of photos that tell a story about your theme. Your theme can be anything from traveling to eating pizza to celebrating Mother’s Day!
Your theme determines what types of pictures you include in your article. For example, if your theme is traveling, then any kind of trip will do — whether it be taking place one week ago, one month ago, or one year ago.
The important thing to note about this is that since the purpose of a photo essay is to connect with readers, your reader doesn’t necessarily know who all these people are beyond their appearance in the photograph.
That is why being able to describe each person clearly is so crucial to creating an interesting photo essay. It brings focus off of the image and onto the individual – which is what makes them come back for more. You also want to make sure to include enough descriptive words to add some context to the picture.
When it comes to creating a photo essay, there’s no wrong way to begin. You can start by taking some candid pictures or planned photoshoots. The only thing that matters is that you enjoy what you are shooting and you feel relaxed while taking the shots!
Another good place to start is by doing research and learning about different time periods, cultures, and environments. By exploring various genres, your personal style will develop as you add layers to the photographs.
Your initial plan may be to take several separate images, but soon you’ll find yourself adding them together into one long sequence or even collage. It’s totally up to you!
There are many ways to organize a photo essay, so choose the structure that works best for you. Just make sure to use copyright free images and check permission before capturing each shot.
Editing your photos
After you have gathered your initial collection of photographs, the next step is editing them!
Many people start with taking very closeup or intimate pictures to create an effect. While these are great ways to begin, it will not lead to success of your photo essay.
As we mentioned before, photographic essays do not work when there is no pattern to the images. A good photographic essay has at least three, sometimes more than five, parts that move together as one frame.
In those parts of the essay, new types of scenes, angles, and/or compositions can be used to add variety to the piece. This article will talk about some basic tips for editing your photographs.
The process of creating a photo essay
Step 1: Choosing Your Settings
Your beginning step is to choose your settings. You will have to determine if you want to do close up studies, wider shots, or something in between. Some stories require no detail at all, while others call for very detailed photos.
It is important to know what kind of story you are trying to tell before picking your locations and settings.
Once you have determined that, you can begin looking for inspiring locations and environments. Create notes about the location and how photogenic it is.
Make sure to pack enough clothing so that you do not have to repeat any pictures!
Step 2: Finding Photographers
After you have found some interesting locations, it is time to find professional photographers who are able to take excellent photographs.
These professionals must be able to create incredible still images as well as videos. Make sure to check out their social media accounts to see whether there are any examples of their work.
You should also look through their portfolios to make sure they are consistent and quality proof of their talent. They may even have websites with additional information and links to their services.
Publication of a photo essay
A publication of a photo essay is usually broken down into three parts. The first part is choosing your topic, gathering your materials, and deciding how to organize your images.
The second part is editing your photos. This can include changing the light source, experimenting with different angles, and finding balance between too much and not enough detail.
Thirdly, writing for your article or collection of articles. If there are certain stories you feel need to be told, then find a way to incorporate them into your writing.
Publication — what it is called depends on who’s publishing it and what they want to get out of it! Some publishers call theirs a ‘photo diary’ or a ‘eye-opener’. Others just refer to it as an ‘essay’. It really does depend on what the writer wants to achieve from it.
Selling your photo essay
When you’re ready to publish your photo essay, there are several ways to do it. You can hire someone else to help you or you can handle it yourself! Hiring others is the best option if you don’t have time to take care of all the other tasks that come along with producing a large volume of content.
The first thing you will need to do is find an online platform where people can buy photo essays. This could be through a website like Fotobulu, or by creating your own site using a free web hosting service such as Google Cloud Platform or Amazon Web Services.
Either way, the next step is finding quality photos and editing these photos for sale. There are many sites that offer very cheap edits, but poor quality may not look good later when they are published onto a larger scale. Make sure to research some prices and see what people have to say about the sellers before investing in their work.