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. Thanks, you're subscribed!
Watch your inbox for the latest articles and features. Brown Advice for turning your images into a memorable photo essay, from curating your best work to crafting a title. Published: PM. Secret life of nuns: a look behind convent walls — a photo essay. Cycling world championships in Yorkshire — in pictures.
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