Create Storyboard & The Scene For Senior Portrait
When it comes to creating storyboards for this, I often look back to an era of when they were younger, and I have some beautiful photographs of my grandparents when they were younger, and I'm always looking for inspiration to try and sort of bring the past to the future, in terms of those storyboards. I'll look at Pinterest and different things like that, even in old books, but I'll often even look through old photo albums of theirs, because they tell the best stories. I would sit for hours going through these photo albums, and I lost count of how many photo albums my grandparents had, but they were my best storyboards and how I wanted to photograph them, because they told the story of what they were like when they were younger, when they first started dating, and things like that. When it comes to storyboards, it doesn't have to be, you know, cut pictures out of a magazine, and do this. Look at different elements, like old photographs that belong to them to create those storyboards an...
d how you can, you know, create something completely new. And then when it comes to creating a scene, this next image, and again, this says something in terms of Alzheimer's. I was completely unaware of how it affected people. My grandmother having Alzheimer's is the first time I've ever had anything to do with someone with this horrible disease, and when I started to study and learn more about Alzheimer's. They recommended creating memory boxes, and putting some of their fondest memories into one place, and every day presenting that with them so that they could stay connected to some of those things that they had throughout their life. My mum and I created this memory box for my grandmother and used different elements from her lifetime to put into one place. Then I wanted to tell the story a little better. When I originally captured this frame, there was no photographs on the wall. This is a heavily compensated image to create this, but I needed to tell her story of a lifetime of this memory box. It not only brings awareness to Alzheimer's and how to understand it, but for me, it brought a level of understanding from a personal level. I went through all of her photo albums, and I found some of her most treasured photos, and this is what we started to create the storyboard from. You can see when I took the original image, it definitely doesn't look like the after, but that's the dining room table. That's kind of how it looked, and then I photographed a whole heap of picture frames that we had in boxes, and I started to put those photographs in those picture frames behind her to help tell that story. You can create something from nothing, and it doesn't cost anything. I didn't have a budget for this, because I didn't need one. It was just a matter of my time and knowing what I wanted to create. I knew that I had to incorporate all of this into it, and bring it to life to create something like that. When it comes to doing something like this, there's a lot you've got to consider in terms of lighting, which I'm gonna talk about next. But you can see here, the light is coming in from that top right hand corner, so it has to be consistent throughout every element in the image. When you are creating that plan, you've got to take all those things into consideration, because not all of my images are single capture, even though I love to create single capture images, sometimes it's impossible. When you are creating that plan, and when you download the bonus material from this course, it's got that mind map in there. A lot of these things are what you've got to consider when you start to visualize that final image, in terms of bringing it to life and making it seem real. When it comes to lighting, we are creating a beautiful set up here today. When you're photographing this age, Janis our model has driven a long way to be here with us, and given up her time to come, but when I am photographing this age, I tend to go to them. I go to their home. I photographed a baby for a client of mine, and he said to me throughout the shoot ... My studio was in my home, he would walk past the photograph of my grandparents and say, I wish we could have photos taken with my grandmother. He continued to tell the story how she raised him. It was really beautiful, so I said to him, is there a way that you can bring her to the studio? And he said, no she's in a home, and she can't travel. And I said, whereabouts is the home? So I offered to go to the home, because after the conversation I realized how important the photos would be to him. A few days later, I traveled to her home and I met the family there, and I was able to take a beautiful portrait of the grandmother holding her great grandson, and unfortunately, she passed away two weeks after I took that photo, but that was nearly five years ago, and I still get commented on my Facebook page, I still get emails thanking me for these beautiful photos that I took five years ago that mean so much to him. How wonderful is that? But I had to travel to her, and not all people are able to travel like Janis, so you've got to be aware of their abilities in driving, and the environment that you might be going into. Sometimes if you have to go into a home, it's not suitable to take photographs in, but if you're going to their home, which is what I've tried to create here, you're going to be surrounded by their life, and it's creating a beautiful scene and a set up of everything that belongs to them. I've just brought a whole heap of different elements here together to show you what could be done in somebody's home if you were to go there to take some beautiful portraits of them, and I think that everybody should be photographed, regardless of how old they are. Sometimes they're not going to contact you, because at that point in their life, they're not focused on having their photographs taken. They're focused on spending time with their family and things like that, and sometimes they're not well enough to get out, so you might have to be the person that instigates some of these photographs when you're talking to your clients. Ask questions, get information about their family, and encourage them to have photographs with their parents or their grandparents depending on their age, 'cause these are the most valuable photographs you'll ever take to a family, and for their future generations to be able to look back and help tell that story. I've gone around the Creative Lives studio and got in to a little trouble, but I've tried to source as many things that you could find in a home to create a similar scene. Janis has a wonderful story, and she is an incredible writer, and she was a literature major. I've got an old typewriter, I've got some paper. These might not be things that she has in her home, but they're things when I was hearing her story kind of thought, right, I've got access to these at the Creative Lives studios. I can use those as props to help create a more homely scene to photograph her in it. It doesn't have to be complicated. I'm gonna use a light to be able to light her, and we've got a little bit of a fan, and I've got a bit of fabric here, and I'm gonna try and create a bit of a curtain effect of a curtain blowing in from a window from the same direction as that light, just to add a little bit of life and movement to this photograph, so it's not so stagnant, in terms of lots of props just sitting still. Janis has also brought in a few of her own things that will having meaning to her. That's the beautiful thing about this. When we talked yesterday about creating photographs that are of meaning to them, I'm not creating this for any other reason but for Janis, and hopefully it has that wonderful meaning when she looks at it, and when her family looks at it that they're going to absolutely love. I asked Janis a question in my questionnaire, and we've been talking about how do you get the right information? And having those pre-set out questions. One of the questions I always ask people is if you could do something tomorrow without any restraint, what would it be? She mentioned traveling to three different countries, one being Portugal, which is one of my favorite places. A globe, Creative Live had a globe, these are kind of things, different elements you can incorporate into the shoot. I have a camera because she's got photos, there's a connection there, she's brought in some beautiful photos of her own. There's a book here, Who's Who Among San Diego Women, and Janis is in that book, so these are all sort of things that tell part of her story that you want to incorporate into that. When you go in there, you've got to be able to ask the right questions and get the right information to do it. I've just laid out some photographs that she's also brought with us, and in the background is a photograph of her husband Stan. Hopefully by adding all of these different elements, I'm gonna create a story that's just gonna be perfect for her, even though a lot of these things aren't actually hers.