How to Write a Good Photo Essay
A photo-essay has become a typical assignment for the students involved in journalism and professional photography. However, many students are asked to prepare photo essays although they do not have a connection to journalism and professional art. This assignment is useful for everyone who wants to develop his writing skills. When you have a photo in front of you, you can describe and analyze it attentively. This paper develops your imagination and critical thinking skills. In fact, many young people have troubles with photo essay writing. You can improve your chances to cope with this assignment if you take advantage of these writing guidelines.
1. Choose the Best Topic
It is always difficult to choose the right subject for analysis. Most often, the topic of a photo essay should depend on the type of readers. If you write your essay for students, the topic should be informal or thought-provoking. It should be relevant to the younger generation. For instance, you can create an essay about racism, substance abuse, fashion, popular culture, environmental issues, etc. The mature audience will be interested in the more conservative topics like business, history, personality, social issues. Secondly, you should realize the nature of photo essays. You are supposed to select about ten photos and describe them in the form of an essay. In simple words, you prepare several photos and comment on them in the written form. One can say that photo essay writing is a difficult assignment inasmuch as you have to possess the most imposing and affecting photos that can attract the attention of an average viewer or reader. Thus, the quality of an essay depends on the set of your photos.
2. Research Your Topic
When you are going to become a photojournalist or blogger, you should be able to describe the available photos effectively. Your duty is to make the reader interested in your news. A photo essay is a good exercise to train your professional skills and creativity. When you have your own set of photos, you should learn the background information about them. For example, if you have a photo of a heavily polluted river, you should inform the reader about the original place captured on it. You will never persuade anyone in the necessity of the solution of environmental issues if you provide the reader with the simple abstract photos. If one does not recognize the source of the photo, he will not be shocked or impressed. Therefore, find information about the depicted place and time. It is better to write a related story about the people and animals living on the banks of this polluted river than to describe the litter flowing there. A personal tragedy of the suffering people speaks louder than the photo of the littered water. Evidently, the more facts you present, the better impact on the reader you make.
3. Plan the Structure of Your Essay
Doubtless, every academic paper should be logical and engrossing. It should be understandable to an average person. The best way to make a newsworthy and notable photo essay is to make it logical and well-constructed. Introduce the subject of your essay in the introductory section of the paper. Next, pay attention to the reasonable planning of your shots. When you visualize your story, you should select the best photos that reflect your attitude and point of view about the subject under research. Organize and arrange these shots in the proper order that will match the story of your essay. It is quite difficult to find the most and the least considerable shots. Thus, try to evaluate them objectively. Remember that you ought to follow the basic outline of your story. Prepare the main body of your essay elaborately. Devote a separate paragraph to the analysis and description of every photo. It will help you complete a logical and readable essay. The concluding part of a photo essay should summarize the entire story and evaluate its relevance and efficiency.
4. Apply Specific Tricks
Bear in mind that the core task of a photo essay is the selection of the best shots. Thereof, you should choose the weightiest and the most splendid shots that can provoke such particular emotions as anger, fear, pity, sympathy, etc. Try to avoid applying unspecified and ambiguous photos that provoke different emotions. Do not confuse the audience with the photos the problem of which does not match your description. Finally, it is always easier to conquer the audience with the help of the imposing content that influences their emotions.