Assignment: I’ve been working with the The New York Times for many years now, and I am always eager to get started right away when I receive the assignment. I know it will take me on a great adventure to interesting places and I will be able to execute the photoshoot with creative freedom and provide images that will tell my clients story. In this case, I was given the assignment to photograph a story about South County, R.I. and it’s beaches. Growing up in Connecticut, we spent a lot of time along both the Connecticut and Rhode Island shores, giving me a good base of knowledge about the area I’d be capturing. I was also excited to discover new restaurants and new businesses.
Production: Editorial and news assignments are much different than corporate or advertising photography assignments. There is a lot of trust between the newspaper editor and the photographer, because they are most likely not going to be joining you on the photoshoot. This means when you’re just starting out that you need to ask the right questions and really understand your clients needs. Over time, once that trust is built, your will intuitively understand what type of imagery they are going to need to tell their story. My role in this case is to both photograph the scenes within the assignment, but also to be the producer. I contact the locations to obtain permission to photograph. Since this is news, you need to be a bit of a fly on the wall, but also obtain permission from your subjects when they are identifiable, and be respectful of anyone’s privacy who does not want to be captured. It is a delicate task that requires confidence and verbal communication skills.
Clients Needs / Solution: My client needs to tell the whole story, not just bits and pieces. That requires me to be able to capture a wide variety of images: landscapes, portraits, food photography, ambience, and details. These needs fall perfectly into the types of photography that I specialize in, and I aim to deliver images that are cohesive in my style but capture the essence of the subjects and settings.
Post-Production: new assignments are meant to be real, authentic, unadulterated documentation of life. Because of this, minimal processing is done to the images — only exposure compensation, dodging, and burning. This means that I must successfully capture the image correctly in-camera, and cannot rely on heavy editing to make the image pop. I welcome this challenge and love to utilize composition, available lighting, and angle choices to create the most impactful images.
You can view the full article on the New York Times website here.