Join Douglas Kirkland for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with groups and individuals, part of Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Storytelling through Photography.
(MUSIC). Douglas: I felt I could understand the entire story once I had the idea of a group photograph. (MUSIC). These are the people that make it all happen. It doesn't, the wheels don't turn without them. And, once I had that idea, and I, I truly did believe it was probably one of the most important pictures. All these special pictures, the close-ups, the, the wide shots and all this.
All that is important, and these are all the building blocks, but ultimately you need a wonderful sustaining piece right in the center. What we really have to do is very simple. We have to get the chairs off the tables. It will just be very weak soft box. That will be it. Basically, it was natural light with just a weak filler coming to get a little sparkle in the eyes, keep the sense of daylight there. Don't kill it. Don't overpower it with strobe in a case like this. Read the daylight alone first.
Female Speaker 1: Okay. (UNKNOWN) is 2.8. Douglas: So I got the two brothers, and I had the idea of having them stand on the table, because the most deadly picture you can make, the least interesting I'll call it, is have everybody on a line. because that's not the picture you want. The great photographs of groups have invariably, through the years, been on different levels. And then I, we had some, what we call apple boxes or little boxes, so people could sit at different levels. I wanted everybody to be, to have their own possibility, and that's part of the fun of it. Okay, now, this is important.
This is the life of this whole place. Your energy will tell how good it is. Okay, go ahead! (CROSSTALK). Douglas: Oh you guys on top, two brothers, (UNKNOWN). Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You build up some enthusiasm. And so, everybody gets picked up, and it gets part of it, you will get that in those two or three minutes. (NOISE) Get your hands up there, pretty. Okay , (INAUDIBLE). Douglas: But make sure, again, keep a clear view that you don't build it up and get so enthusiastic that you don't get the picture. You're, you should really get more than one style of picture in a situation like that.
Get a quiet one, and then you can have a, a dancier one if you want. Have both, ideally. And that's what we were able to do here. And the other thing that I did, after getting that one big picture, was go out and get the two brothers out at their door. Douglas: Yeah, just like that. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Nice. Yes. That's beautiful. That's wonderful. Yes. Nice, nice, nice, nice, nice, yes. Douglas: Frankly, outside, I didn't need any fill light or anything. The, the, it was just daylight. It was comparatively soft.
The fundamental picture for me was the brothers together. But when you have them there, why not photograph them individually, because they may make a statement in the story. They're not always together. Just have more, because editors frequently need things that might not occur to you at the moment, and that is very important. Always provide your, the, the people you work for with much more than they anticipated, and they will be very, very happy. But most important of all is to get the core story, what is needed, because that's where it all happens. (MUSIC) Yes, nice, nice, yes.
The course begins with a sampling of some of Douglas's photojournalism work for magazines such as LOOK. Next, accompany Douglas as he and his camera tell the story of a restaurant and its team at work. The photo story begins at a farmers' market at dawn, as the chef chooses his ingredients, continues through the day's menu preparations, and concludes with dinner and dessert. Along the way, Douglas describes his creative process and shares insights gained from decades as a photojournalist.