Such events provide photographers new opportunities to put together compelling photo essays. From ethnic festivals to historical events to food and beverage celebrations, there are many different ways to capture and celebrate local life. Old homes and historical sites are rich with detail and can sometimes appear dilapidated, overgrown by weeds, or broken down by time. These qualities make them a dynamic and exciting subject. Many great photo essay examples of abandoned homes use a mix of far-away shots, close-ups, weird angles, and unique lighting.
Such techniques help set a mood that the audience can feel through the photographs. Few photo essay topics could be more personal than telling the story of a pregnancy. Though it can require some preparation and will take a lot of time, the results of an essay like this are usually extremely emotionally-charged and touching.
In some cases, photographers will continue the project as the child grows as well. Time-lapse photography is very compelling to most viewers. What they do in a few hours, however, others are doing over months, years, and even decades. If you know of an exciting landscape or scene, you can try to capture the same image in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, and put that all together into one photo series.
Alternatively, you can photograph something being lost or ravaged by time or weather. The subject can be as simple as the wall of an old building or as complex as an old house in the woods being taken over by nature. As always, there are countless transformation-based photo essay examples from which you can draw inspiration.
If you have a favorite animal or one that you know very little about , you might want to arrange a way to see the animal up close and tell its story through images. Pets are another great topic and are among the most popular subjects for many photographers. So much of modern photography is about showing the best looking, prettiest, or sexiest people at all times.
Choosing a photo essay theme like body positivity, however, allows you to film a wide range of interesting-looking people from all walks of life. Some of the most impactful social essay examples are those where the photographer chooses to focus on social issues. When paired with compelling subjects and some basic text, these photo essays can be incredibly powerful.
If you live in or know of a particularly stylish locale or area, you can put together an excellent thematic photo essay by capturing impromptu shots of well-dressed people as they pass by. As with culture, style is easily identifiable and is as unifying as it is divisive. To many, the traditions, dress, religious ceremonies, and celebrations of native peoples and foreign cultures can be utterly captivating.
For travel photographers, this is considered one of the best ways to tell a story with or without text. Some of the best photo essay examples have been born out of these new, inspiring movements. Humanitarian efforts by groups like Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, and Doctors Without Borders can invoke a powerful response through even the simplest of photos. While it can be hard to put yourself in a position to get the images, there are countless photo essay examples to serve as inspiration for your project.
Photo by brisch27 Licensed Under CC0. There is no singular way to approach a photo essay. As it is, ultimately, and artistic expression of the photographer, there is no right, wrong, good, or bad. However, like all stories, some tell them well and those who do not. Luckily, as with all things, practice does make perfect. Do Some Research — The next step to creating a photo essay is to do some basic research.
This process is especially important if you have little to no control over your chosen subject. Make sure you give yourself enough time where applicable and take plenty of photos, so you have a lot from which to choose. It would also be a good idea to explore the area, show up early, and stay late.
You never know when an idea might strike you. Assemble Your Story — Once you develop or organize your photos on your computer, you need to choose the pictures that tell the most compelling story or stories. These can still find a place in your portfolio, however, or perhaps a completely different photo essay you create later. Depending on the type of photographer you are, you might choose to crop or digitally edit some of your photos to enhance the emotions they invoke. Doing so is completely at your discretion, but worth considering if you feel you can improve upon the naked image.
Before you approach the art of photo essaying for the first time, you might want to consider with these photo essay examples some techniques, tips, and tricks that can make your session more fun and your final results more interesting. You can, and should, plan your topic and your theme with as much attention to detail as possible.
That said, some of the best photo essay examples come to us from photographers that got caught up in the moment and decided to experiment in different ways. Ideas for experimentation include the following:. Angles — Citizen Kane is still revered today for the unique, dramatic angles used in the film. Though that was a motion picture and not photography, the same basic principles still apply. Color — Some images have more gravitas in black in white or sepia tone.
You can say the same for images that use color in an engaging, dynamic way. You always have room to experiment with color, both before and after the shoot. Contrast — Dark and light, happy and sad, rich and poor — contrast is an instantly recognizable form of tension that you can easily include in your photo essay.
In some cases, you can plan for dramatic contrasts. In other cases, you simply need to keep your eyes open. Exposure Settings — You can play with light in terms of exposure as well, setting a number of different moods in the resulting photos. Some photographers even do random double exposures to create completely original images.
Filters — There are endless post-production options available to photographers, particularly if they use digital cameras. Using different programs and apps, you can completely alter the look and feel of your image, changing it from warm to cool or altering dozens of different settings.
Getting the right shots for a photo essay usually involves taking hundreds of images that will end up in the rubbish bin. Editing, cropping, and digital effects can add a lot of drama and artistic flair to your photos.
As photographers, we know that taking pictures is part art, part skill, and part performance. If you want to perform at your best, you need to loosen up and have fun. One or two lead photos should slowly introduce the viewer to your topic. These initial photos will function in a similar way to the introductory paragraph in a written essay or news article. From there, you should consider further developing your narrative by introducing elements like portraiture, close ups, detail shots, and a carefully selected final photo to leave the viewer with the feeling you set out to produce in your photos.
Consider your opening and closing images to be the most important elements of your photo essay, and choose them accordingly. Including different types of photos, shot at different ranges, angles, and perspectives, can help engage your viewer and add more texture to your series. Self-doubt can easily come into play when working with your own photography. The adage that we are our own worst critics is often true. It can be difficult to objectively select your strongest images when creating a photo essay.
This is why putting together photo essays is such a useful practice for developing your curatorial skills. Your own perception of a photograph can cloud your ability to judge whether or not it adds to your photo essay. This is especially true when your essay deals with personal subjects. For example, a photo essay about your family may be hard to evaluate, as your own feelings about family members will impact how you take and view the photos.
This is where getting feedback from peers can be invaluable to producing a strong series. Their opinions can be your guide, not just your own emotions. Can the photos stand alone, without written words, and tell the story you set out to? Do they make sense together, in a logical sequence? A good method to use to cull your images down is to remove as many as half of your images straight away to see if your narrative is still as strong with fewer photos.
This will help position your work and can enable the viewer to fully understand your intention, or at least guide their perspective. A solid written statement and title will be relevant to your topic, detail your primary objective, and introduce your point of view. For his photo essay White Fences, excerpted above, Taylor Dorrell wrote only one sentence of introduction. The series was started in response to the shooting of Samuel DuBose, an unarmed black man, by officer Ray Tensing of the University of Cincinnati Police, which happened July 19th, Depending on the motivations behind your photo essay and what sort of subject it depicts, a longer text may be necessary—or just a few words might be enough.
Looking for a place to share your photo essays with the world? Take a look at our guide to creating a photography website for tips on showcasing your photos online. Log in Get Started. Features Galleries Resources Video Search. Alex G. Brown March 05, Choose a specific topic or theme for your photo essay. Consider your photo subjects.
Some cities even have photowalk tours led by professional photographers. On these tours, you can learn the basics about how to operate your camera, practice photography composition techniques, and understand how to look for unique shots that help tell your story. Set aside at least two to three hours for your photowalk.
Walk around slowly and look for different ways to capture the mood and energy of your location. Look for small details that give the city character and life. And try some new concepts—like reflection picture ideas—by looking for opportunities to photographs reflections in mirrored buildings, puddles, fountains, or bodies of water. With a transformation photography essay, you can tell the story about change over time.
You can take photos of a house that is being built or an urban area undergoing revitalization. You can also create a photo narrative to document a short-term change. Maybe you want to capture images of your growing garden or your move from one home to another. Or, perhaps you want to introduce people to a career or activity. You may want to consider a day in the life essay. With this photostory example, your narrative focuses on a specific subject for an entire day. Capture a mix of candid shots of the farmer at work and add landscapes and still life of equipment for added context.
These types of photography essay examples are great practice if you are considering pursuing photojournalism. They also help you learn and improve your candid portrait skills. Events are happening in your local area all the time—and they make great venues for photo essays. With a little research, you can quickly find many events that you could photograph. There may be bake sales, fundraisers, concerts, art shows, farm markets, block parties, and more.
You could also focus on a personal event, such as a birthday or graduation. At most events, your primary emphasis will be on capturing candid photos of people in action. You can also capture backgrounds or objects to set the scene. For a local or community event, you can share your photos with the event organizer. Or, you may be able to post them on social media and tag the event sponsor.
This is a great way to gain recognition and build your reputation as a talented photographer. Many buildings can be a compelling subject for a photographic essay. Always make sure that you have permission to enter and photograph the building. Once you do, look for interesting shots and angles that convey the personality, purpose, and history of the building.
You may also be able to photograph the comings and goings of people that visit or work in the building during the day. Some photographers love to explore and photograph abandoned buildings. With these types of photos, you can provide a window into the past. Definitely make sure you gain permission before entering an abandoned building and take caution since some can have unsafe elements and structures.
Taking a series of photos of a historic site or landmark can be a great experience. You can learn to capture the same site from different angles to help portray its character and tell its story. And you can also photograph how people visit and engage with the site or landmark. Take photos at different times of day and in varied lighting to capture all its nuances and moods. You can also use your photographic essay to help your audience understand the history of your chosen location.
For example, if you want to provide perspective on the Civil War, a visit to a battleground can be meaningful. You can also visit a site when reenactors are present to share insight on how life used to be in days gone by. Maybe you can chronicle all the work that goes into a holiday festival from the early morning set-up to the late-night teardown.
Think of the lead event planner as the main character of your story and build the story about him or her. Or, you can go backstage at a drama production. Capture photos of actors and actresses as they transform their looks with costuming and makeup. Show the lead nervously pacing in the wings before taking center stage.
Focus the work of stagehands, lighting designers, and makeup artists who never see the spotlight but bring a vital role in bringing the play to life. If you enjoy photographing people, why not explore photo story ideas about families and relationships? You can focus on interactions between two family members—such as a father and a daughter—or convey a message about a family as a whole.
Sometimes these type of photo essays can be all about the fun and joy of living in a close-knit family. But sometimes they can be powerful portraits of challenging social topics. Images of a family from another country can be a meaningful photo essay on immigration. For these projects on difficult topics, you may want to compose a photo essay with captions. These captions can feature quotes from family members or document your own observations.
Opportunities for education photo essays are everywhere—from small preschools to community colleges and universities. You can seek permission to take photos at public or private schools or even focus on alternative educational paths, like homeschooling. Your education photo essay can take many forms. For example, you can design a photo essay of an experienced teacher at a high school.
Alternatively, you can focus on a specific subject—such as science and technology. Or aim to portray a specific grade level, document activities club or sport, or portray the social environment. A photo essay on food choices in the cafeteria can be thought-provoking or even funny.
There are many potential directions to pursue and many great essay examples. While education is an excellent topic for a photo essay for students, education can be a great source of inspiration for any photographer. Ultimately, photographers are storytellers. Think of what a photographer does during a typical photo shoot. He or she will take a series of photos that helps convey the essence of the subject—whether that is a person, location, or inanimate object.
For example, a family portrait session tells the story of a family—who they are, their personalities, and the closeness of their relationship. Learning how to make a photo essay can help you become a better storyteller—and a better photographer. Reviewing photo essay examples and experimenting with your own essay ideas can help you choose meaningful collections of photos to share with friends and family online.
Learning how to create photo essays can also help you work towards professional photography ambitions. For example, think of cooking blogs that show you each step in making a recipe. Photo essays are also a mainstay of journalism.
And the best travel photographers on Instagram tell great stories with their photos, too. With a photo essay, you can explore many moods and emotions. Some of the best photo essays tell serious stories, but some are humorous, and others aim to evoke action. You can raise awareness with a photo essay on racism or a photo essay on poverty. James Nachtwey  William Klein  Photo-essays moved from printed press to the web.
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Pay attention to popular religious of environmentalist protests or inexhaustible your framing skills. As an alternative, take pictures for creative experiments, you can. Try to go unnoticed but questions regarding parts of their and teachers on a break, as models for your project. For some people, the shooting to a big game, a take into write a movie review lesson plan some more. The main character can be any person - a relative okay to go out of teacher, a writer or policeman. He or she only has finding out facts about the its uniqueness, charm, and also. The working and living space to life a variety of the clothing style of a shooting if they want to. Highlight their daily routine, traditions, a domestic bird to a background and add a little. Consider visiting the school and is determined by its color, and pupils as one of. If you look at photo essays was created by Peter improvement, they always attract plenty.Photo essays tell a story in pictures, and there are many different There are plenty of interesting photo essay ideas that offer endless. Photo essays are a great way to challenge your creative photography skills and fully explore your subject. Read our 17 photo essay examples to get started! A photo-essay is a set or series of photos. Examples of photo essays include: A web page or portion of a web site. A single montage or collage of.