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Essence: Character

Lesson 8 from: The Ultimate Photo Storytelling Workshop

Finn Beales

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Lesson Info

8. Essence: Character

Finn shows how you can use characters to drive events in your story by identifying their desires, the importance of credibility and also how he likes to work with models.
Next Lesson: Essence: Events

Lesson Info

Essence: Character

Number two, character. You need a character or characters to photograph. Casting can be a fairly lengthy process in the commercial world of photography but I don't really want to dig too deep into this sort of aesthetic aspect of this. I'm more interested in relaying how you can use characters to craft events in your story. That might sound strange, but a good way to drive events within your story is to start with their desires. What do they want to do? How do they approach their life? What is their ultimate goal? So desire is that the heart of everything we do and identifying that in your character and relaying it to your audience is a great way to connect with them emotionally. So it's kind of fun too identifying what our character wants. We can start to craft or introduce obstacles in the way of them reaching it. So, setbacks or reversals in fortune these are ultimately events. You know, someone relaying to you a disaster story is really interesting. If someone's day has gone perfec...

tly how much has happened, there's no event. So when you are creating a fictional story you can go off in all sorts of tangents in terms of obstacles to then reaching that ultimate goal. For this example, I'm thinking to myself, how can I involve a character that relates to my client but also my location. Surfing is massive in Portugal and it's a beautiful coastline. When we were casting for this shoot, we had a few options. We were looking at like maybe a surfer from Wales. I was thinking about bringing someone over. But, in the end we found someone in Portugal. This seemed to make much more sense. They knew the environment and they were interact with it more comfortably than me bringing in a foreigner just because he was a surfer. Similarly, with the age of my character this is a shoot for cool and vintage. I didn't want the obvious choice is a 20 year old buff surfer who looks amazing but that's kind of cliched. I wanted to use someone a touch, more vintage. So after a bit of digging, we found a mid forties board shaper super famous within the surfing industry a real gem of a person to work with. He knew the industry inside act and he knows this location inside out. So I can look to him to help craft my story. I can also use his board shaping profession as something to bounce off. He's gonna be super comfortable in his board shaping room. I can set him loose doing what he does best and I can follow him around the room shooting all the processes that are involved with creating a surf board. The fact Dan is in his mid forties also adds a bit of credibility. So he has more, his is more lifelines in his face. He's actually also a more comfortable person to work with. He's a mature dude. He's comfortable within himself and he's super comfortable in his boardroom and also on the beach. So I won't have to direct him too much. I can kind of let him loose, tell him to do what he does best and then I can react to anything that I see might create a good photograph. I don't want the person that I'm working with to be constantly looking at me for direction. I don't really know where to put myself, you know? I'm gonna get unnatural images off the back of that. So working with a real person, doing their real job or their real hobby will give you a more natural image.

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Ratings and Reviews

Brent Morris

Fantastic My thoughts on the storytelling workshop. The short is; it’s fantastic. The long is I loved all the details covered, from shot types and the ideas behind them to the call sheets and shot lists, and the whole process. I felt like I had a better understanding of how to schedule a professional shoot and I really felt like I had a much better grasp on many ideas and concepts, and I believe I’ve been able to improve my photography with them, so thank you and Finn. It really is fantastic.

Oswaldo Martinez

A path to better stories Very happy I got this workshop. Finn and Alex do a great job at teaching highly useful methods and specific advice to help you improve your own work, and more importantly, tell better stories that are meaningful to you.

Tommaso Selleri

Simply the best This is simply the best workshop out there on photography and storytelling. Finn is awe inspiring and so real and authentic. A pleasure to watch, a joy to learn from such master. I really hope a volume 2 is coming soon! Thank you for this one!

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