MA – 06 Photo essay

The Mandatory assignment -06 was a photo essay. We were giving assignment to portrait a person in a photo essay, take six photos to it and one additional photo from a object that relates the person in studio lights and in black and white as a cover picture. At least one of the photos had to be taken in natural light.

I devided the time into two – doing the research and planning and shooting the photo essay. I did research what is a photo essay, what kind of photo essays were there, how to tell a story with pictures and how to portrait a person, what is a good photo essay and what tips there is to plan the photo essay. I also got deeper into different lenses and their affect to the pictures, light and depth of the field. I looked what kind of photo essays have been done earlier and got some inspiration from the pictures in internet. For this assignment I didn’t find too much from Pinterest so the main search was mainly by bing or yahoo.

My story is about an Chinese ayi (a helper) who works in a western family. The days are long and she is working for three to four families in a week. Still she seems happy and genuine. The cover picture is a red envelop with money  “a homebound”. It’s where everything starts and actually ends as well. It’s expensive to live in a big cities but ayis are earning quite good and she’s lucky to have a job. The story is a part of her day, working for one of the families. The narrative photo essay follows her steps through the day from opening the door and coming to work to closing the door and leaving the work.

After the research and when I had chose the person and story to portrait, I sketched the shoots, planned the schedule with her and went the route, the places and the objects needed in my head. I took some practise shots before to get the idea what’s the light would be and what would be the best lens. I shot as I planned but in some situations it still  needed some work and different angles to get the best shots. Afterwards I adjusted the pictures a bit in Camera RAW and made some cropping in Photoshop CC. I couple of the photos I needed to straighten them a bit.

I enjoyed a lot to have the camera again with me these 5 weeks. I feel that after the lessons I’m actually in another level using the camera and can concentrate the composition more and have the settings in manual. Some occations I still feel that I’m a bit slow – especially in street photography when the occations pass you so quickly.

Here’s my photo essay:




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