Interviewing someone is an art, not everyone can conduct a good interview. And when the interview is largely dependent on photos, the issue becomes even more difficult to accomplish.
A project which is often performed but rarely acknowledged is using photos to ask questions and receive answers, but with the exclusion of any words. Everything is done through images.
This project is done quite frequently when a model or a person is photographed performing an act like working, eating, reading, watching television and so on, they are in fact giving an audience a glimpse of what they do regardless of whether this person is a model or not posed or not.
One can include the questions in text form that accompanies each frame and the text can be easily added through a digital software program directly unto the image, but if the images are properly done, then there is usually very little need for text to be added. See link for a Photoshop tutorial for adding text.
If one wants to conduct this project one of the first things that needs to be decided is whether or not you are going to use text. If you add text to some images and not to others, then the entire project looks like a miss matched set of photographs.
If unsure how to proceed ahead with the challenge, then the easier alternative would definitely be to add text, and only then just the question that is being asked of the subject which is then followed by the image which is what serves as the answer.
The second thing that needs to be in place before the session begins is to have a ready set of questions and an idea of how to compose each image in a way that answers each question.
A good starting point is to limit the questions and the images to groups of no more than ten at a time, because depending on the difficulty or complexity of the questions, the images can be very time consuming to set up and photograph so plan ahead and ask simple to answer questions.
The photography session should also be limited to no more than five per day unless you have everything so well planned that it works like clockwork and count with plenty of time. Alternative, you can do one or two questions and image sessions per day. This will off course make the project last much longer but it gives you time to examine the results as you progress along and make any changes if they become necessary or if you are not satisfied with the results.
A good example would be to start off by asking "what is the first thing that you do when you wake up in the morning?", a corresponding image answer would consist of you "brushing your teeth". A second question would be "what do you wear to work or school?", followed by an image answer of you wearing your work or school clothes.
Here are more question suggestions; favorite part of your day, favorite place to have lunch, to study, to hang out, things you do for fun, favorite food, your hobbies, your best friends, family members, that special someone, your pets. The list is endless, but you must have them ready along with planned shoots that will answer each.
This theme can be very time consuming but can also be very rewarding and extremely fun to do. Not only will one be learning about the many details that go into a photo shoot, but the planning stages are also very helpful if you later branch out into fashion or product photography and the experience aids one in basically any photographic genre.
The majority of these images are done with a specific purpose in mind, mostly being the intention of submitting them to various photography publications, and book publishing. With any photographic theme, very good images can be shown in art galleries and sold as individual prints to the general public.
As with any job or endeavor that is done by anyone, the most important factor is that one truly enjoys what it is that they do. Ask any artist why they continually keep producing their art and most often they will tell you that it is because they love what they do. Ask them if they are making money from it and most often the answer will be no. But they have fun doing it.
If you do not love what you do no amount of money will make up for it. Persistence and a strong desire to be the best will eventually lead you to be successful. It does not matter how much work and effort went into setting up and producing a photographic session, or anything else, the final image, when the work is finally done, is what will vindicate you and the sense of accomplishment will be the thing that will keep you going forth.
- Famous Photographer Interview: Jim Miotke Talks with Art Wolfe
In this fun interview with professional nature photographer, Art Wolfe, Jim Miotke discovers the struggles behind Art's fame and Art reveals what motivates him as an artist.
© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez
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