Category Archives: Paul and Joshua

Design 2: Two Establshing Shots


In Design 2, I have very simply switched the vertical layout to become horizontal. I don’t think one works better than the other, it is just a matter of preference. However, I do think that layout 1 reminds me of my final design of Longevity due to the writing being on one side, pictures on the other with lots of white space surrounding and for that reason I’m leaning towards Design 2 which has it’s writing spread across the length of the page.



I’ve kept the same layout for the second page because I think it works better when coupled with the second establishing page design because they are both horizontal layouts and flow into each other nicely.


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Design 1: Two establishing shots



In my last post I explained that I was trying to work out whether these two images work well as an establishing spread to the story of Joshua and Paul and I’m pleased to say that I think they do!


Although the content of the two images are fairly different, i.e. a detail and a close-up portrait, they are similar in the way they are shot – with a 50mm lens and large aperture so there is an aesthetic similarly and they both have connotations that tell you what the story is about as opposed to telling you any denotation. For example, the tattoo is a sign of commitment and love for his absent child and the portrait of Josh with its neutral colours and detailed perfect skin is a portrait of innocence and beauty.


What really marries the two images together is the headline (thanks Dad). It gives both images purpose as one is lost without the other – which is indeed the case with unconditional love.



Having made the establishing page, I had a think about what pictures I could use for the second. These six pictures seemed to hold a balance between them as three describe their activities together (the top three) and three are beautiful moments between the two of them. On the left, Joshua looks at his Dad with love as he gets him ready for bed. The middle picture shows them playing a game in the bath and I have captured a moment where their hands form a beautiful similarity. The third shot shows a moment of equal emotion and love in the form of an embrace between father and son.

I’ve placed the pictures in places I think works. I saw a clear division in content between the top and bottom images, which is how I divided those and then I thought about what would start the story – a picture of them walking along the river, which reads as Paul picking Joshua up and them both being very happy about it.

I placed the wide shot of them on the sofa in the middle as the other two are in different places other than the flat so it seemed to make sense to place it in the centre.

The bath shot went in the middle because it holds a neutral, lighter colour that separates from the other two, which are both in the flat and similar in ways.

I’m also aware that by placing two pictures through the centre of the spread will mean that the centre of the image gets slightly cut into the gutter of the double page. However, this is done in many editorials and I think that as long as you don’t place a picture where the centre of the picture is critical to the image then it is not a problem. Both my images contain subjects at the sides and I think therefore it is okay.

The Design

I’ve tried to keep the design simple and crisp as I did with Longevity because right now I am concerned with content. I just did what I felt was best as a starting point. This means using Futura for the headline again and this time using Courier New for the poetry, page numbers and title of the editorial, which I didn’t use before but I would still conifer it a crisp, classic and modern type face.

William Wordsworth

As I haven’t written the story yet I was trying to think of what to write on the page to avoid filling with placeholder text so I started looking at poetry about fathers and sons and found this perfect verse by William Wordsworth.


I have a boy of five years old;

His face is fair and fresh to see;

His limbs are cast in beauty’s mould,

And dearly he loves me.


It mirrors both the headline and the images when I read it and so I feel it has a belonging on the page to help establish the story between Paul and Joshua. Although I do have a concern that it might be necessary to describe the story on the establishing page as I did in Longevity but as I am more free to experiment with this spread, I am happy to run with it for now.


I’m going to continue having a play with this layout to try and get the best from it before using other establishing images in order to make a comparison and further develop the design and write the story.

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Opening with more than one establishing image

I am considering using two images to open up my story just to try something different but also I think that these the two together could work well and I think it is the only way I will get to use the portrait of Josh in the story, otherwise there is no real place for it.

I’m aware that I may be trying this out for the sake of that picture and suspect that my love for it is more personal than how others may see it, but I’m willing to give it a go and compare it to single images or even a different combination of two and then get some opinions!


This is Paul’s tattoo of his son’s name and birth date, which he had made four months after Joshua was born, during the time that Joshua’s mother moved away from Paul taking Joshua with him. He says that although it sounds strange now, it has greatly helped him through the lonelier days. Image

The neutral colours and pureness of Joshua’s skin really emphasise the innocence of children. I don’t think this picture would work as part of the main story but it is beautiful and coupled with Paul’s tattoo and a headline connecting the two, it MIGHT work.



I found these two in Pig House Pictures Edition III. They are both very similar layouts, but I think opening with two images is going to have it’s restrictions. I think it’s more about the content and whether the two images obviously belong together. Eva Cooney’s opening images certainly do belong together and work well.

I think that the thinking behind An Uncertain Winter is that the top image is the front cover of the magazine and is obviously an establishing image as it is so strong and the colours are beautiful but having it as a stand alone establisher and as the front page is a little repetitive. We’ve already been tempted into the magazine from it so it doesn’t need to hold such an impact as other stories.


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Highlighting possible establishing images for page one of a 2x double page spread

Highlighting possible establishing images for page one of a 2x double page spread

Red: Stand-alone establishing shots
Green: Two establishing shots together

The idea behind the establishing shot(s) is that they inform you as to what the story is about whilst tempting you to continue looking and reading. This means they need to be visually strong as well as informative.

The stand-alone establishing shots show the closeness between father and son. They are precious candid moments that stir emotion and therefore (hopefully) tempt the reader to look further.

The two images that I think could work together I think are strong images but alone they are not particularly informative. With a clever headline linking the two pictures, it could work although I have a feeling I will end up preferring the simplicity of one strong image.

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Potential images for editorial use in the story of Paul Cooper, a weekend-Dad and his son Joshua.

Potential images for editorial use in the story of Paul Cooper, a weekend-Dad and his son Joshua.

I don’t intend to use all images but I think there are a few different variations that would work, so at this stage I don’t want to rule any out.

My step step is going to be to establish which of these images I could possibly use for the establishing page, whether it be one picture or more.

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Squeeze in those pictures!


Komma 11 on Behance

Komma 11 is a student editorial that focuses on editorial design, print design and typography. Each feature contains different styles of work, including documentary, graphic design and portraiture and so the design is varied but maintains it’s identity.

On this particular page, I like how they have managed to use six pictures on the page without the page looking crowded. There is still room to breathe by restricting the images neatly to the bottom two-thirds of the page.



Origen Newspaper on Behance

This love the length to this design although this is a format I am not working on. I think it could potentially still work though on an A3. Again, I think the space at the top where they have placed the headline is necessary to not crowd the already picture-full page.

The two simple columns, one on each page works nicely and gives the editorial more of a newspaper feel to it, as does the type face they have used. Still, the design looks modern and artistic and suits the photography well.


So potentially I could use 6 or maybe even 7 pictures on the second page of the double page spread, if I felt there was this amount to tell a story. I might decide that a tighter edit is preferable for the editorial, but I know that having discussed a possible edit for ‘The 5 Picture Story’ brief in PEP140, we talked about how it was a shame it’s not an edit of 10 or 12…

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Second editorial feature design: Stage One


I’ve been working on three stories and have been waiting to see how each turns out to decide which I want to use in order to create my second editorial feature.

I’ve decided to use my story about life as a part-time Dad for a brief that was entitled Fragile. Paul see’s his five year old son Joshua every other weekend. I spent one weekend with them to document their relationship and to try and capture the more tender moments between father and son and to also try and capture Joshua’s absense within Paul’s life.

As the shoot was fairly successful I have a number of pictures that I could potentially use in a photo story. So my first task is to decide how many pictures I want to use and to narrow my edit down.

I think I’ll start by looking at some editorials that use more images on the page to see how this can be achieved and to try and get an idea of how many pictures I can use realistically.

 The rules:

Unlike the first double page spread, this design is to be formed from one of our two 5 picture stories we have been working on in another module.

It can be digital or analogue and there are no constraints on the design. We have ben urged to shoot FOR the editorial, i.e. negative space for text. Although I’m not a fan of writing over images in editorial as a very loose rule, I did bare this in mind for this shoot.

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NEW STORY: Paul and Joshua

NEW STORY: Paul and Joshua Watch this space as I will be posting pictures from my new story about Paul and his life as a weekend Dad.

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