Wow, one of our first projects during physical distancing is finished! It has definitely been a learning experience. From the online classes to completing a project more independently. Our recent project was called, A Witness To History. This project was based photojournalism and capturing a moment in time in a photo. With the world in a pandemic, we based our photos on how our community was changing and acting during these times. Our driving question was, How Can we as Photojournalists, Tell the Stories of Our Community During This Period of Physical Distancing?
To answer this question, we were going to chose a specific example/topic to take photos of. We then were going to create a book with the photos and explain a bit what they mean and are showing. Creating the book was the very last step and we had to complete many other things before the finished product.
To start off the project we practiced taking photos. We used different angles and worked on editing the photos to get maximum effect. We took four self-portraits and went on a photo themed walk taking photos of things around us. Here are some of my favourites that I took,
After practicing our photography skills, we were asked to conduct an interview on someone who lives in our community. While giving an interview isn’t one of my favourite things to do, I actually found it very helpful in choosing a topic to base my photo essay. During the interview I asked questions related to Covid-19 and the pandemic, things on how their life has changed, and what staying at home means for their family. After I finished the interview I went through it and looked at some of the answers, seeing what topics were mentioned and what was more importent to her. The bigger topics that were mentioned are more likely shared with others in the community. With these I created a list of possible themes for my photo essay.
When I was choosing my theme, I knew I wanted it to be something different than other photo essays I’d been looking at. So far I had seen a lot of the more negative effect of covid-19, showing how all the streets are empty and everywhere people go they have to wear masks. These are all true and really interesting to look at, but I wanted my photo essay to have a different look on things. With this in mind I came up with, how the community has come together to support each other and some of the more positive effects of the community closing down. With this I created a storyline, of how all the photos relate. It went something like…
Everyday people went about their normal lives.
Then one day people started getting sick and the world went into a pandemic.
Because of that everyone had to stay inside and not see anyone from their community or anywhere else.
Because of that people had less and less activities to do
Because of that people had to find new ways to brighten up the community and bring joy to their life.
Until finally people discovered small joys in their life that they are sharing with others.
Ever since then people have been making things to bring joy to themselves and others around them.
I thought making a storyline was very helpful, it helped me get my thoughts organized and gave me something to base my ideas on. Creating the storyboard was harder for me because choosing the exact angle I want and coming up with all my captions before I went and took the photos was challenging. At the time I felt it would just be easier to just go take the photos, but I realize after taking the photos it was nice to have an idea of what i wanted before I was there and had to take the photo. The storyboard I created had the different shots I was going to take and what angles I thought I was going to use.
The storyboard was the last step in learning before creating the final book. First we had to go around and take the photos, since my photos were mostly outside I had to wait for good weather to come. When it did though, I went on a walk through my community stopping to take photos at the places I had planned. Taking the photos went really smoothly which was nice, I only had to go back to retake one photo. Putting together the book was one of the easier parts, I just had to add the photos and their captions. I decided I also wanted to add recordings so that you could just look at the picture and hear the caption read to you, instead of reading it yourself.
Creating this book, and learning to share my photos of how my community was effected was really fun. Photos can really capture the essence of a moment, allowing others who aren’t there to feel like they are almost experiencing it them self. During this project I learned that a lot of work and planning can go into taking photos. I hope you guys like my photo essay as much as I enjoyed making it!
”It’s not what you look at that matters, It’s what you see.”
-Henry David Thoreau