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6.1 Feature Assignments

The feature assignment is the editorial photographer's dream job. For most assignments you will only have a small handful of photos published. A feature assignment give you the ability to really dive into the subject as a photographer.

6.1 Feature Assignments

Feature assignments or photo stories is what all editorial photographers dream of. For most assignments, you only have one or two photos published, but feature assignments give you the opportunity to really dive into your subject as a photographer. For feature assignments you need to make a variety of photos that tell the story of your subject. These assignments can come in a variety of forms from travel stories to day in the life portrait shoots to long form journalism stories. Like I highlighted in previous courses, filing a wide variety of photos from these assignments is gonna make your editor very happy. Likely on these assignments you're gonna be shooting from sunrise to sunset. So you're already going to have a large variety of photos. But it's important to be conscious of photos you've already taken and not be repetitive. It's good to go into these assignments with a bit of a mental checklist, or even a physical one. Think about ideas and photos that you want to capture, and once you have them, cross them off your list. For big assignments you're going to be shooting in a variety of different situations. Likely there will be lots of activity, changing lighting conditions and different seeds. Have fun and be creative with your photography here. But stay focused on story telling photos. All good essays have a strong intimate story telling photos as a base. You want to get in really deep with your photos. A good solid package will create a strong emotion in the viewer. I recommend looking for one or two people that you really connect with and that you can spend some time with. By creating a profile of them, you're telling their story, but also a bigger story that they are involved in. For instance, on a feature story I just shot in Mexico on missing students, I followed two of the parents around and created an in-depth profile on them. With those photos, I mixed with more generic photos that I encountered to tell a wider story. By only focusing on two of the parents, I was able to spend more time with them. This helped me create more emotional photos. This is a way to keep these assignments simple, but still have a strong hook. For gear, I recommend working with as little as possible. Smaller cameras are gonna allow you to be extremely unintrusive. You're gonna generally wanna blend into the background in these assignments as much as possible. In the portrait section we talked about dealing with your subjects to make them as relaxed as possible. In these assignments these skills are going to be on hyper speed. Most people aren't used to having a photographer following them around. So it's your job to make the experience and the atmosphere as un-awkward as possible. Editing photos from a feature assignment can be tough. You're still gonna be riding off the adrenaline and picking your best selects that represent the story is very difficult. In this next section, we're going to move into doing exactly that and looking at a previous assignment of mine.

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