Discover the challenges and creative opportunities behind telling a story with a mix of environmental and backdrop portraits.
(lively circus music) - Hi, my name is Paul Taggart and I'm a visual journalist that works in newspaper, magazines and also in television and I'm gonna use that skill-set for this course, which is doing a photo-essay, but just with portraits. I wanted to do a project on people with unusual jobs which has led me here, to the Flynn Creek Circus in Fort Bragg, California.
Wow, I love my job. (laughter) I did not expect this today. Before arriving here in Fort Bragg, I hadn't actually communicated with the circus too much, I'd done a little bit of research online, but I wasn't sure what I was getting involved in. The first thing I noticed, is these guys are really busy. They're some of the hardest workers I've ever met. They're teaching classes all day, they're training they're also doing performances. So fitting me into their schedule is gonna be complicated. I'm only gonna have a couple of hours a day to do portrait sessions with these guys, so I'm gonna have to hit the ground running and move quick.
Hold on, I'll let you know when. - Okay. (camera shutter clicking) - In order to make a photo-essay with just portraits, a successful photo-essay, you have to have a quantity of subjects, say if I just had two subjects in a photo-essay, I don't think it would really be a full story, but if I have a minimum of let's say 10 different subjects for my photo-essay, it's gonna feel like a full narrative, with a full cast of characters. (laughter) You set yourself up for this one. - Okay. - The next few days are going to be extremely chaotic and very exhausting but it's gonna be worth it.
This is gonna be an adventure, I've got all the right elements, I've got great characters, I've got a great location and I'm at the circus, this is gonna be fun.
In this course, photojournalist Paul Taggart shows how using different types of portrait photography and selecting subjects that visually add to the narrative can tell a full and colorful story.
- Scouting locations
- Posing portraits
- Emphasizing costume or clothing
- Sequencing portraits
- Building a portrait story