MyPEM Magazine Vol. 3 - Page 19

5. Parts: Think about the essay as a story. Every good story has a starting point, a body and a conclusion. In the classic photoessay this is shaped with a couple of different shots you include.

o The establishing shot gives you an introduction and shows you where the story is taking place. Most of the times is is a wide-angle shot.

o The medium shot is leading into the subject. It tells you more about it and how it belongs to the enviroment.

o The close-up is a classic detail shot, giving you important single parts of the story.

o The portrait is bringing the subject close and personal.

o The moment is giving you special moments of the story. It could tell a little story in itself or be part of the bigger picture.

o The closer is the shot that sums up the essay and leaves you with a thought or a conclusion.

This different parts don’t have to be in every photoessay in general. They are more giving you a direction what might help to tell the story, even when most photoessays at least have a establishing shot and a conclusion.

Talking about the speed of consum in the internet, it is important to catch the attention of the viewer directly. So maybe try switching the parts. Make your first shot not the establishing shot, but something like a ‘hook shot’ that pulls the viewer directly in the story. As always experiment with that.

6. Captions: The captions are another important part of the photoessay most of the times. I always try to have captions that do not tell what we already see in the picture. Let the captions add what your picture might not tell, like the names of people, their background or important information that could not be photographed. The captions allow you to give the story the last precision.

7. Experiment: All what i wrote before should be seen as a starting point. As there are thousand approaches to tell a story, if classic linear or non-linear, you have also all freedoms in your photoessay. Maybe you want to start with a certain moment and tell the story from there with what happend before and where it leads to. Or you mix different perspectives.

Try it out. At the end it is important what tells the story best.

"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that."

-Stephen King

How to Start Writing Your Photoessay?