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Seven Hills Camera Club (7HCC) Message Board › Book Review - The Photographer's Story, Michael Freeman

Book Review - The Photographer's Story, Michael Freeman

user 42839852
Harrisville, RI
Post #: 3
Hi, I've written the book review for The Photographer's Story by Michael Freeman. I'll copy and paste it below for those interested. Could you please let me know where else I need to post the review to fulfill the requirements for Focal Press? Should it be posted on The Focal Press website? Personal blog/Facebook? Anywhere else?


Book Review: The Photographer's Story by Michael Freeman
Reviewed by Laura Atkinson, July 2014

As a former photojournalist, this book was naturally appealing to me. It establishes the modern vernacular for creating photo essays in an easy to follow structure. This book would be especially inspirational to someone wishing to build a portfolio in visual journalism, to someday be employed with a top end magazine or book publisher. The book takes you on a journey with easy to understand lessons that could be applied to those working as a photojournalist, the serious amateur looking to improve travel photography, down the personal hobbyist who would like to improve the photo story that gets tucked away in scrapbooking techniques.

The art of storytelling is something that is taught in early elementary years: leading sentence, story structure, persuasive / exciting element, conclusion. Mr. Freeman reiterates these essay rules to the world of photography. Creating visual storyboards are tools that filmmakers create all the time, and this book seems to follow that concept, only keeping the visual to still images...until the end, a part of the book which puzzled me.

While the photos in the book are compelling to the eye, and a real showcase of the exotic locations Mr. Freeman has explored along his travels, the everyday photographer may have a difficult time connecting on how this may relate on a local level. I would have liked to have seen examples in a small town American countryside or city, and perhaps what to look for in day-to-day events in order to tell a visual story.

At the end of the book, Mr. Freeman describes how to incorporate images into a slideshow or movie. For me personally, this seems to be off point. Why would you convert the photos into a movie to tell the story, why not just make a movie or documentary in the first place? I understand the mediums can blend together, but for 90% of the book he's telling about photographs, it seemed like an afterthought where it mentions oh yeah, you can make it into a movie, too.

In the end he states there is "no approved system" for the final photographers edit for the images chosen to tell the story. He provides the way he personally deals with post-shoot processing / editing, but drives home the point that you're probably going to make your own system that works for you.

What I found in this book to be of particular benefit and something that I hadn't seen in similar books on this topic, are the graphical layout and design options for telling stories with impact. I'll definitely look forward to utilizing some of these suggested layouts.

Overall, I found this book to be a solid resource on creating creative photo essays full of impact.
user 42839852
Harrisville, RI
Post #: 4
Lou - if you are reading this, I just found your message on the board here on where to post reviews, but I don't know your email address, or how to contact you privately via meetup site.

Here's the links where I posted the review.­


Also posted on my business Facebook page.
Priscilla M.
user 13644753
Group Organizer
Holden, MA
Post #: 58
Laura, great review from someone who could relate to the message.
Lou S.
user 2604245
Shrewsbury, MA
Post #: 73
Thank you Laura, a thoughtful, well done review. I will pass it along to Focal Press. Lou Swinand.
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