If I am trying to describe a place, I find pictures that I took of that place; if I am sketching a human subject, I look for images of her.
Words Essay on Photography
When my own albums fail me, I go down the rabbit hole of Google image search. Whole writing exercises are devoted to photographs: choose a picture and create a narrative from its visual content; provide a photograph and ask a writer to use a person or an object in it as a character or prop for a story.
Photographs that may deaden the prose of a fiction writer might enliven the work of an essayist; the same photographs that enable the precision of the journalist might inspire the whimsy of a poet.
- Phase two – selecting images?
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Digital photography, endless and inexpensive, has made us all into archivists. And the very act of taking a photograph, now so common, affects how we remember an event. A study by Linda Henkel, which appeared in Psychological Science last year, tried to measure the effect of photography on memory. The first group was instructed to observe works of art for thirty seconds, the other group observed the art for twenty seconds and then photographed it; the next day, both groups were surveyed about what they remembered.
Instructing students to zoom in reversed the impairment effect, improving the memories of the photographers over those of the observers. The study is small but fascinating: taking photographs changes the way we experience the world, but reviewing them can change the way we remember the experience. Writing from photographs seems as though it should produce the same effect, sharpening the way we convert experiences and events into prose. I suspect that it also changes not only what we write but how we write it.
Photography engenders a new kind of ekphrasis, especially when the writer herself is the photographer. That is why I have found myself so willing to put down my notebooks and rely fully on my photo stream. If you have an idea of who will view the essay, you can choose a subject and images that will appeal specifically to them. Get permission to use names and photographs of people.
If you plan to publish in print or electronically online, you will need written, signed authorization from all of your subjects to use their photographs.
What Is a Photo Essay? 17 Examples and Ideas
A properly-composed Model Release Form is ideal. Even if you don't intend to see the essay published on a commercial website, but intend to use it on your personal blog or website, it is not just courteous but also a legal requirement in most jurisdictions to obtain a subject's written permission in advance. If the subjects are children, a parent's or guardian's permission is needed. Writing your photo essay's main body copy.
Your writing style can be loose and humorous, formal and serious, informative and fact-filled or light-hearted and uplifting.
It depends largely upon the topic. So, for example, if your topic is a photojournalistic article on a natural disaster and your photo essay shows property damage and injuries, you would be advised to display little humor and stick to facts. If it's an email to Grandma showing your kids opening or using their Christmas presents, it can be light-hearted and very informal. Be sure to check your essay's text using a spelling and grammar checker.
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There is really no excuse for language errors. What if you're not a great writer?
Sample Photo Essays
Get qualified help. If you are someone who struggles with creative writing, consider hiring an essay writer online. Professional academic writers usually have years of practice and are sure to know the appropriate words, phrases and nuances to use for most good photo essays. Select those images that best tell your story and edit them using software such as Adobe Photoshop for clarity, brightness, color, proper cropping and orientation and so on so they will look their best in your photo essay.
Cutlines A cutline, which appears beneath or next to an image and comments on that specific image, is usually very well-received by viewers. It is worthwhile to give some thought to writing good cutlines, since most viewers will read them. But, remember that you don't need to use a cutline to describe what viewers can already clearly see for themselves.
Let's say, for example, that you use a photograph of a circus. The photo's cutline could describe the bright colors, the names of characters involved and other details not evident in the image itself such as background information about the picture. Background information can include where and when the photo was taken, what techniques were used in capturing the photo, a photo credit if another photographer took the picture and other such details that help the viewer to understand and appreciate the photo.
Last words Not only does a photo essay's ending summation tell the viewer that he or she has reached the end, but it also permits you to insert your perspective regarding what you have written, to sign your name to it and to insert contact information.