This post has been created and written by attendees of the 10 day JarvieDigital Bootcamp 2011 – (Interns for summer 2011)
Each post that we will release in the coming days will be about what they learned on that day.
(Photos by Laurel Scott)
The experiences of four interns with the amazing Scott Jarvie at the first day of the ten day photo bootcamp – Day 1
The mantras and sayings:
- “Choose your battles”
- “Creative Solutions”
- “Err on the side of leniency”
- “If it is dark, keep it dark, if it is bright, keep it bright.” (Exposure Compensation)
- “If it is about (some thing) – commit to it.”
- “Cast a big net”
- “The editing process is like a pyramid”
(Photos by Laurel Scott)
Game one: Stand in one place as the photographer and have the model move around you to find different backgrounds.
Game two: Have the model stay in one place and move around her to find different backgrounds.
What was great about this game was that it forced me to look around at places that I wouldn’t normally view as good backgrounds. Having to find a certain number of backgrounds in a limited space was challenging and rewarding.
When picking – make it simple… a yes or no question only. Start with “is the photo in focus,” on the first go-through. The next time you go through the photos ask “is this a photo to give to the client?” And then the next time, you rate the photos with one star (good), and then you look through the one star photos and you pick the two star (great) photos from the good photos. Etc, etc. until you get to the very best top picks.
Photography is not just about the technical aspect of things, but also about the emotional connection to the subject. No matter how technically deficient a photo is, the friends of the person in the photo are still going to love it. The emotion of the photo, the story that goes with it and the location are all very important aspects to a photo in terms of content.
The next “step” past the subject of the photo is the background of the photo. It is important to avoid distractions in the background, so no posts coming out of heads, etc.
Looking at the background and not becoming too focused on the subject is important. Looking at the whole frame while shooting and not just getting caught up in looking just at the center of the frame or just at the face of the subject – is very important.
The expectations for different kinds of photoshoots are very different. If you are photographing for an individual, say their wedding, versus for a fashion magazine, the expectations for what the photos will look like are different. The photos will be used in different ways and their purposes are very different, so the way the photo is taken and edited will be drastically different – and it is important to keep this in mind when taking the photos for differing clients.
(Photos by Angela Terry)
“Just because there is a war doesn’t mean you have to fight all the little battles.”
In photography we have to choose our battles. You don’t want to use your energy on all the battles, “choose the battles that will make the most impact.”
You want to find the beauty or even the awesome that is all around you, but you still must pick your battle. It might take more time for the awesome shot, is it worth it? Is there time? Is the client wanting it or even getting the idea? Is it worth the battle or can the shot be done easier and in less time with almost the same amount awesomeness.
Choose your battle and make impact
(Photo by Angela Terry)
(Photos by Jeff Bushaw)
Scott Jarvie’s Photography Bootcamp
Day 1 -
We started out the day with introductions to get to know each other, and for Scott to give us his story of where he started on his path of photography. This also gave Scott the chance to get a bit of a baseline to what level each of us are currently at in our photography learning curve.
Once this was accomplished, we transitioned into what Scott has as his basic foundations not only in photography but in viewing the world around us so that it may help us to translate that view in our own photos. One of the ways we can do this is by finding Creative Solutions to solve problems that occur within photography. For example, you may have an outdoor photoshoot where the natural lighting is not what you had hoped it would be such as rainy, dark clouds, harsh sun, etc. and you need to find ways of overcoming these conditions and turning it into something that maybe even works to your advantage. We as photographers and photographer assistants need to learn this by either experimentation or by seeking out the experiences of other photograhers who have already learned how to overcome these situations.
Scott then worked on teaching us two concepts that go hand-in-hand; Choosing your battles, and efficiency. This for me could be a huge life lesson that I need to strive to incorporate with many different aspects. There are many times when you think something is important but it may take too long or it may not be impactful enough to make it worth even doing. If you have to stop and decide if you should do it or not, by the time you had to even think about it, you have already spent too much time on it. If I have to run back to the car to get another light or another reflector, by the time I get back to my shooting location, I might realize that I spent too much time doing so an the extra item will not really add enough of an impact to the photo to have made it worth your time.
(Photos by Jeff Bushaw)
That evening, Scott did a full presentation on what he calls “Attractions and Distractions”. In photography, there is obviously a subject that you are photographing. As the photographer, our goal is to make that subject the item that photo conveys and the eye is drawn to. When you strive to Create Attractions “the subject” and Remove Distractions “anything that can draw the eye away from the subject” you have then sent the message you wanted in your photo. Some of the methods or points Scott taught us to create the attractions are:
- Create a visual connection to the subject. Whether it be a location, person, story, or subject matter.
- Convey emotional impact. Such as romance, joy, sadness, coldness/warmth, etc.
- Knowing that our eyes and thoughts will typically be drawn to subjects that are brighter and in-focus.
- Elements that can also create attraction are: Color, Light/dark, Point of View, texture, framing lines, leading lines, patterns, balance.
Some things that create distractions:
- Subjects that compete with each other. For example: A romantic situation but something funny is happening off to the side.
- Non-essentials. For example: A beautiful building but there is a bunch of cars in the foreground.
- Obstructive elements. For example: A head-shoot portrait but there is hair in front of an eye.
- Non-Satus Quo. For example: Awkward position, clothing problems, messy hair, unflattering proportions.
All in all, Scott teaches us that we want to create a photo that draws us in and feels like we are there in the scene without it looking like and “edited/changed photo/situation”
And so Day 1 comes to an end…
(Photo by Britney Brent)
- Learning what NOT to do is very good at times…
- Do NOT focus on the wrong object of the picture…
- (Insert out of focus picture)
- Do NOT cut off peoples limbs…
- (Insert limb picture here)
- Do NOT have huge distractions from what you are focusing on…
- (insert distraction picture)
- And last but DEFINITELY not least:
- Do NOT put dish soap in the dish washer!!!!
- (insert pic of dishwasher disaster)
- And now a few DO’s:
- DO sit at a computer in a chair to edit and not on the couch with a laptop…
- DO figure out a short code for filing pictures for easy access….
- DO create emotional connections with your pictures…
- DO understand people expectations…
- And a most common sense DO:
- DO LEARN YOUR CAMERA!!!