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Famous photo essays like are acclaimed for showing a glimpse into the lives of the sick and impoverished.Other well-made photo essays offer a new way to look at the everyday, such as Peter Funch’s much-reposted photo series for which Funch photographed the same street corner for nine years.
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.
He appears lonely, the only person inhabiting the place in which he seems so comfortably seated.
As the eye wanders throughout the frame, however, the viewer discovers more: a vast city cast beyond the street and behind the man’s chair.
Collections of images can help produce a narrative, evoke emotion, and guide the viewer through one or more perspectives.
A well-executed photo essay doesn’t rely on a title or any prior knowledge of its creator; it narrates on its own, moving viewers through sensations, lessons, and reactions.“Most projects I work on involve shooting portraits of strangers, so there’s always a tension in approaching someone for a portrait,” says photographer Taylor Dorrell.For Wojtan, that tension can help build trust with a subject and actually leads to more natural images “If there’s tension it’s usually because the person’s new to being photographed by someone for something that’s outside of a candid moment or selfie, and they need guidance for posing.The most natural method for choosing a topic or theme for your photo essay is to go with what you know. Whether that includes people, objects, or the things you think about throughout the day, accessibility is key here.Common topics or concepts to start with are emotions (depicting sadness or happiness) or experiences (everyday life, city living).You don’t necessarily need to be a documentary photographer to create a powerful photo essay.Photo essays can showcase any topic, from nature photography to portraiture to wedding shots.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.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.