Last week I met up with photographer and friend, to discuss a concept shoot that have been in the works for awhile. While talking over coffee one of the topics that came up was creating the story one wishes to portray with their pictures. This will be part one of a three part series that offers some key steps to culitivating your pinup image for a shoot!
Photography is being able to tell a story, without words in a manner of seconds. As a model, you are the focal point of the story! Telling the story well isn’t as easy as it may seem; it takes work. Since we aren’t working in commercial modeling the stories we are bringing to life aren’t handed to us, we have to create them!
This is one of my favorite parts of the process; it’s an, exciting, and personal experience, along with being very introspective. When I start story boarding I feel like I’m pouring my heart and soul into creating the essence of my shoots. I get my inspirations from all around me, but I always want there to be an original touch. I never want to look at my photos and have them feel cookie cutter in anyway.
I start by writing out idea, aka concept, in a binder I’ve created for my shoot. In my binder I’ll put a title page, which is my concept. Then on the next page I’ll write the concept at the top of the page in bold, underneath that I write a brief synopsis describing the idea, my purpose, and feel of the shoot. It needs to be simple and basic, because the more you start planning the more the idea will evolve.
Here’s an example of what the concept page might look like to start:
Concept: Alice in Wonderland
Purpose: Alice is all grown up, fell back down the rabbit whole, and she is looking at Wonderland through her adult eyes. Another Journey of self discovery.
Feel: Mysterious, Sexy, Ominous, Flirty, Innocent, Fun, Classic, Vintage, Cooky, Fairytale, Whimsical.
By this point I start brainstorming the look (feel) of the shoot. This is where I think about what I want to invoke from someone who looks at the picture. I’ll research other photoshoots with similar schemes, look at movies, books, quotes anything that helps get what’s in my head out onto paper. I write all my ideas underneath my “intro” (I like to handwrite this, instead of type it. It will look messy, but it insures you get everything out). I love making collages, and aesthetic boards (Since I am a mac user I like their photo editing software Fotor, it has a section to create collages);I then add that to my binder in a section labeled aesthetics behind the main concept page, and the detailed concept pages you will place in after you’ve created the stories shell! This part of the process is all about the big picture, without, getting into the details. You’re creating the shell for the world you are about to build!
In part two I’ll be discussing taking your broad idea and narrowing it down scene by scene, possibly shot by shot. This is where we create the story arc!