pressmen performance and photography

Friday, November 24, 2006

The pressmen, storytelling and events.

Storytelling and the paparazzi. Previously I have talked about the photobooks we can create and how they are a photo essay of an event. However that begs many questions as to how you actually do this in practice. There is the Bresson idea of the decisive moment. There is the accepted norm by many 'portraitists' of the importance to create a sense of warmth and relaxation in the sitter.

In an event the work has to happen in the moment. To instantly get people to relax and to look for those decisive moments that reveal something of the guests personality. We at the pressmen have developed the art of Rapportage, to get a candid shot at the same time as creating instant rapport. We have learned much from theatrical techniques based on character,movement,focus,inner stillness,being able to be part of a moment yet still to have a directorial eye from the outside. Superficially the costume of the 1950's paparazzi enable both us and the participants to join in a storyline. But it is a moment that has a sense of play. The very moment of rapport. This deepens over the evening as people get used to us and enter into both verbal and non verbal interaction. This provides a catylyst to openess on the part of guests because they have acceptes the pressmen as part of their world.

All this time the pressmen must remain totally in the moment and be constantly reading what is going on and being open to seeing guests reactions. during the evening we start to get a sense of the character and spirit of individual guests and this helps in seeing the possibility of interesting photographs. Throughout this process just like a theatre director or a writer we must be aware of the story that is developing. We are photographing that as well as the individuals.

All of which allows one to creatively explore that story as one chooses the pictures for inclusion in the book and the ways they are layed out.

I think that is what makes this form of storytelling exciting and fulfilling.


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