Just like any other profession, a photographer needs to constantly learn. Workshops, classes, online courses, whatever is necessary to either keep up with what you are doing, or extend your knowledge.
That is what took me to Siena, to follow a week long course of story telling. With teachers like Randy Olson and Melissa Farlow, both photographers for the National Geographic Magazine, and a location such as the medeaval town of Siena, not much could go wrong.
We were 10 photographers, from all over the world, all wanting to learn more about how to tell a story with photographs. Already on the first night, even before class had started, each one of us was introduced to our local ‘resident’, whom we were supposed to follow for a day, shooting all we could, and later telling the story of this person’s daily life. There was a priest, a pizza man, a restaurant owner, an artist,… and I had to cover a day in the life of a traditional tailor. Exciting!
First, our teachers taught us what we should shoot exactly, and on day 3 we ready to go on the road and try it out.
My tailor -Vinicio- was a lovely, sweet and funny man, even though communication was difficult, if not nonexistent. He only spoke Italian, with a heavy accent, and my Italian is quite rusty. (I don’t actually speak Italian). So apart from following him around and shooting his pictures, I had a full day of smiling and nodding, and no talking.
The shooting of the pictures was the easiest thing, bringing them back into a short story was the hardest, and that is where Randy and Melissa came in to help and teach.
Story lines, no speed bumps, no repetition, and many more tips!
Now all I must do, is bring my story telling skills into practice.