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6.2 Strategies for Feature Assignments Part 1

In this lesson you’ll learn about strategies for feature assignments, gear selection, working tips, and what’s expected from assigning editors.

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6.2 Strategies for Feature Assignments Part 1

So that was a little bit of info about what you can expect with feature assignments or photo essays. Next, we're going to look through some of my raw takes of recent photo essays. So here is a raw take of photos from a recent assignment in Guerrero, Mexico. This story is dealing with the missing students that was big international news just before Christmas. I'm just gonna get started. So I arrived in this small little town, it was going to be the site of a march of some of the parents of the missing students. I arrived earlier the night before, so this was just first things straight away in the morning, going out for breakfast, starting shooting straight away, looking for photos the moment you hit the ground running. Some interesting graffiti, a little social commentary here Interesting placement of the guy. Changes the photo quite a bit and makes it an interesting photo. I'm gonna move fairly quick through these raws. Just so you can get an idea of how I'm working though, we're gonna go through the first section all in raws and the second section just with selects. Interesting street scene here again. Interesting slice of life. All Mexican government officials, including the President Peña Nieto right here. So yeah just snapping what I am seeing. The assignment is basically for me to just create a photo essay a journalism piece about what's going on so. A lot of freedom but also a lot of pressure to actually produce something. So as you can see I'll be shooting a lot. Here's me on my first breakfast and now we jumped in a cab and we're headed to a protest. The parents were traveling all around the country at that point and this town was the site of the protest that day. So, shooting this protest I'm shooting a little differently than I would shoot it as a news assignment. In this I want to kind of pull back. In a news assignment I'm gonna tell the story in one single photo. But with a larger photo essay I can take more photos to craft a story. The photos have to be a little more nuanced and show a little bit more than just sort of a straight forward literal journalism photo. It needs to have a little more context, some feeling, create some emotion like we talked about in the last section segment. So as you can see, moving around a lot, looking for different angles, just starting. Interesting photo of this guy. This wouldn't be in a newspaper, but interesting visual photo. Sets place, color, movement. And it could also have a bit of more of a conceptual twist to it, which is cool. It's how I like to add my photos mainly. As you can see, pretty standard stuff here, just starting to get shooting. Trying to cross off some of the things on my checklist, like I talked about before just basic scene setting at this point. Protests and events like this are always a good chance just to kind of like shoot the pictures of the person making tacos really quickly and try and get a slice of life that way. And here's sort of what I mean too, this photo's interesting, I like this one right here, guy with his hands up, know what I mean? Looking at international news at the time, the whole Mike Brown movement, the hands up, don't shoot was going on, so maybe that was sorta influenced this photo a bit. But really interesting scene here. This photo would never be in a newspaper, but it is quite a nice photo and said a lot was going on. These guys in roads here, this guy kind of like, traffic blocked. Modern day problems for this guy, someone watching on the balcony up here. So yeah, kind of an interesting photo there. I'm not sure if it made it to final edit but, yeah, so basically just shooting. Getting up high, trying different angles. At this point, not really knowing what's going on, sort of just going for it. Knowing that something about the protest is going to be in the community, it's going to be something on my check list and something that I want to capture. Here is more, here is my fixer Chava a great local photographer there. Fixers are people that you hire, usually local journalists or someone connected to the local community. You would hire them to go on a story. They help you with moving around, with meeting contacts, with understanding the story, keeping you in safe areas and out of dangerous areas, watching your back, which as a foreign journalist is always a good thing. Moving through. Obviously shooting lots and remind everyone this is my raw take. From this I would be making selects. Interesting photo in the bus station here. Just kind of run in and shoot before they know whats going on and likely after this frame they kind of realize that I was shooting away and the scene sort of dissolved, but here's a photo, find them, like find them quick. Yeah, so just straight-forward protest stuff right here. And kinda moving quickly through these photos, but don't worry, we'll revisit my final selects. They had a prayer service in the street, which was interesting, and another great opportunity to get pictures of the community, funny pictures like this. I don't know what it means, it's kind of interesting to me though. I kind of like it as a photo and it will probably make it's appearance at some other point in it's life and that's a good point. A lot of times where I am shooting assignments, I am thinking about bigger projects that I'm doing, so for instance, this project is related to a personal project that I'm shooting, so. Images that I'm shooting might not work for the assignment, but might work for my long term photo essays. So that's always something to keep in mind. Yeah, pretty good opportunity here to just sort of shoot fairly candidly. Nothing amazing coming out of it. Get up high, interesting angle here, okay that's an interesting photo. That one, something there. Just trying everything, guys reading the local newspaper, parents. Not making great photos here, but this is my one chance to get in real close to the parents at this point, so here's an interesting photo, there is lots going on here but it's still quite emotional in an interesting moment. Yeah, still shooting, shooting, shooting. They put up their own flag at city hall so that's interesting. And yeah, that was it for the morning. I took a taxi to the next town, Chilpancingo, where they were students were from, and walking down the street saw this random street scene. Cops searching kids, they were just drinking in the street. My fixer said don't shoot, he was like don't take any photos, but I was like you know what, screw it. I'm here to do this job, and so I didn't really look through the view finder. I got it on snap, snap, snap, on auto and not the greatest photo, but kind of interesting. And yeah, that was it that we got down to downtown, they had set up a camp and that was it for the first day.

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