Whether you want to include text (captions, background info) is entirely up to you, but in any case you should try to make sure your photos are strong enough to stand alone. Even someone you perceive to lead the most mundane life might present more than a few surprises once you’ve spent a day with them.
If you think a photo essay is something you might want to try, here are a few ideas to hopefully get you going. Or you could go a more traditional route and document the day of someone you feel has an interesting job — a firefighter, personal trainer, chef, teacher, attorney, stand up comedian, lifeguard, nurse…there are really no bad choices here and the end result will be captivating.
They start out with a wide shot, then medium, detail, and close-up.
The variation keeps the photos visually interesting, while sticking to the same message in every photo.
Photo projects always sound like a lot of fun, but there are times when the weight of a project eventually becomes too much to bear. While making a photo everyday for a year can be fun and educational and tremendously rewarding, it can also grow burdensome and not everyone who starts down this path will arrive at their intended destination.
The reasons are varied, from personal and professional commitments and their associated time constraints, to a loss of motivation for such a lengthy undertaking.There has to be some sort of photography project that won’t tie you down for an extended period — not 365 days, not 52 weeks.Something that you could even, in theory, complete in one day.None of this means that you’re forever left to stand on the outside looking in at the fun everyone else is having as they start and finish their photo projects.You just need a photo project more suited to your personality, one less taxing on your precious time.Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty process of how to make a photo essay and look at examples along the way. Before you do anything else, make sure you have a talented someone willing and able to take these awesome photographs. A good message has the capacity to invoke an emotional response to viewers.This someone can be a volunteer, staff member, or a professional photographer. Pinpoint a subject or group of subjects to photograph.This New York Times photo essay on refugees uses a border on each of the portraits.The border ties together each of the portraits, taken at different times and in different countries.Whatever your message is, make sure it hits home in every photo you choose.Varying ranges and angles will add some depth to the photo essay.