Tag Archives: story

Decision Making

Having spoken to people who have been following this blog…(namely my Mum and my housemates), I’ve narrowed my decision down to these three designs.


Design 1


I think Design 1 is likely to be the final submission because the text truly belongs on the picture. The font, colours, positioning and even how the text looks lit up from the natural light on the wall.


Design 2


This was a favourite amongst people but I feel that the headline looks as though it has been placed there through default, as there is nowhere else for it to go, which is the truth. There needs to be more space between Joshua and the headline, and this is more evident when we can see the perfection of the above design.


Design 3


I still can’t move away from this initial design although it was only my Mum that agreed with me. I just really like how the headline works alongside the images. However, it received criticism that when in context with a double page it might look too divided because of the headline having two bits to it and the pictures being quite different. It was also thought that the tattoo detail looks as though it belongs within the story but maybe not as an establishing shot, which I think is a valid point.


So all in all, I think it’s likely I’ll choose Design 1 but I’m going to print out all 3 in preparation for submission to see how it looks physically on paper.

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Design 7: Longing for Joshua


I always thought this picture would work as an establishing shot as it shows a beautiful but quite an emotional moment between Paul and Joshua making it a strong picture but also descriptive. However I wanted to try and work with the others first as I knew I could do more with them in terms of design.

I’ve also tried to think of something different with the title by placing a strip of picture behind it and turning down the opacity – something very simple but potentially effective.

I like the design but somehow it has more of a feeling of being a film poster rather than the opening of a photographic picture story…I might be trying too hard when actually, simple is best!




I thought I’d see how it worked on my original design. Using the picture from Design 5, I cropped it so that both faces were in the strip, which are then opposites of the two establishing shots above, emphasising the meaning of the headline.

Again, maybe this is too busy? Is it necessary to try and be clever like this and will the busy page just lose the attention of the reader?



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Design 6: Longing for Joshua

Variation 1


Once again keeping the same title, I’ve changed the establishing shot to one that I specifically shot in mind of using for the opening of an editorial. The long red wall gave me an obvious opportunity to shoot like this as Paul and Joshua played on the sofa not so long after we arrived at the flat.

In Design 6 Variation 1 I’ve kept the same design as Design 5 Variation 1, just replacing the image and changing the colour of the Futura font from black to white on the image so it stands out better and is another element I quite like!

I think I prefer this image as an establishing shot than Design 5 as it is more true to the reportage style of the story. Also I think the contrast between the playfulness of the picture and the more serious headline may make a reader wish to turn the page and find out what it’s about.


Variation 2


I think this is the point where it’s obvious that this picture has been created specifically to be written on as it actually works so well with text over it. Saying that, I still really like Variation 1 and I’d say choosing between Variation 1 and Variation 2 would be a matter of personal taste.

In Variation 2 I’ve kept the same design as in Design 4 where I keep a strip of white along the top to place the title of the magazine and who the article is which I think works well as it means that there would be consistency throughout the editorial as well as looking aesthetically pleasing.


Variation 3



This time I thought I’d see what it looked like with the title of the magazine over the top of the image. To me, it looks as though it doesn’t belong there and ruins the crispness of the design so it either needs to be Variation 2 or it needs to be taken away altogether.


Variation 4



This does look much crisper but I’m not sure I agree with the idea of a page in a magazine not giving you any context as to what the magazine is, so I’m probably happier with Variation 2 in terms of placing headlines over images although I still really like Variation 1 where the headline is above the image.


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Design 5: Longing for Joshua


Keeping the same title, I have changed the establishing shot to one that may be more descriptive but that I can’t use as a full page bleed. This is a nice moment between father and son and works well as an establishing shot to open the story. We are introduced to both subjects and although the picture is a beautiful moment, we know from the headline that there is a story somewhere.

Possible faults: Maybe I’d like to see more of the picture in focus? I was working with really low light by this point and so I was using an aperture of f/1.4, (which is one of the reasons why I think the portrait of Josh on his own is so beautiful) but here I find despite thinking this is a lovely moment, I want more of the picture to be in focus and the fact that it isn’t makes it a little distracting.

Also, if I were to use this as an establishing image, it would rule of being able to use the following shot:


…And I think this is a shot that can’t be missed out!


Variation 1



I’ve had my eye on spreads like this from Parallax Magazine on Behance that place text partly on the image. With unfussy out of focus parts of images like this I think it works well and stands out as being a little different.

I think it works well on the picture I’ve chosen and is a design I’d happily use.


Variation 2



My Dad sent me a couple of ideas for headlines, Windows on Fatherhood being one of them. I had to phone him and ask him what it was referring to and he explained that it was the idea of the windows being the photographs, so ‘photographs of fatherhood’.

He really likes it and so do I but I’m not sure I want the attention to about the physical object of a photograph. Instead, I want people to  focus on making the story real for people.

So for this reason I think I’m going to stick with either Longing for Joshua or Me in You, You in Me.

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Design 4: Longing for Joshua, full page bleed


Whilst working with this shot on the establishing pages of designs 1-3 I was aware that there was enough space in this image to use it as a full bleed to place text over the top of it.

You may remember from my posts whilst researching editorials and designing Longevity that I was fairly against the idea of  placing text over the top of image. I find it’s often done badly and as a result is really distracting to both the image and the writing, making me as a ‘reader’ too aware of the design elements than of the story/image.

BUT…I need to give it a go and I did shoot certain shots with this in mind to see if I could achieve a design that was a little more out of my comfort zone in terms of aesthetics and design.

In fact, placing the text over the top of this image does not bother me at all and I think it works really nicely.

Never Lazy Magazine, ISSUU

Below is a similar head and shoulders portrait that has been used as the establisher to a photo story. In this example, I find that the headline kissing his face and quote that overlaps his shoulders is distracting, despite the portrait being decent.

Screen shot 2014-02-24 at 12.39.07

What I do like is how the headline mirrors the tones of the picture, so I’ve tried some for my own:


Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 15.42.55 Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 15.50.48


Although the colour below looks more fitting with the tones of the picture, ‘Photography and words: Amy Romer’ gets a little lost in the picture. Looking back at the black headline, it certainly looks more defined and jumps out at you more than this.


I left the title of the magazine at the top as I like the design element but also because there isn’t enough room at the top of the image to place it within the frame.

The problem I faced when designing this was thinking up a headline that made up for the absence of Paul because this picture alone does not really tell us too much about the story. The headline therefore needed to be descriptive.

I’m still unsure as to whether this is enough to lead someone into the story. I think the picture is strong but I wonder if there are too many questions without Paul in the frame? Or maybe the focus on Joshua is a good thing and it’s as though the viewer is looking from the eyes of Paul?

I think it’s something I’m going to get some opinions on before deciding.

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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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Second page designs

Original layout


This seemed to be the most obvious layout for 4 pictures of this format, where I felt one stood out as being more important than the others. It is neat and simple and leaves clear negative space along the right side where I have chosen to place my website.

I considered using this space to place a list of Figures but I feel like I’ve already listed what the pictures are within the main text and a list of figures might just feel like repetition. This is something I need to play around with though as I do still think I need a clear pointer that says ‘top right:…’ either within the text of in a list.

Layout 2



I really liked this layout but you can see on the page that the space left for text is awkward and the layout will not work as a result.

Layout 3


This layout works as it leaves a simple rectangular space for text, like the original layout but as you can see below, the centre gutter will chop the bottom centre picture in half, which I think will be too damaging to the picture story.


Layout 4



By making the three bottom pictures smaller I was able to avoid placing the bottom centre picture in the centre of the gutter, which I think is better but obviously not ideal.

I have then made the top image slightly smaller so it fits on one side of the page and have placed my pull quote in the gap, which is an element I like.

Unfortunately this leaves a larger gap for the story and I can’t fill the gap, which isn’t a massive problem but I’m just not sure I like the space it leaves.

I’ve tried putting in a list of figures to see how it would look on the page and I’m also not sure it works. It seems to make the design look too bitty.

Layout 5


I think having the Figures placed as a design element in this design works much better. My eyes are not searching around the design like they were in Layout 4.


I think of them all I prefer layouts 1 & 5. I need to look at the Figures and consider whether directing the reader towards pictures would work within the main text in brackets such as (top left) and such as (bottom right) without it breaking up the flow of the story too much.





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Looking at layouts


In order to try and make sense of my selections, I’ve photocopied the editorials that caught my eye. Having the physical copy to move around, look at and handle I find far more beneficial than scanning in and looking on a screen.

I wonder if the next generation will be saying the same?



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PEP160 Narrative & Storytelling 1: News, Editorial & Documentary

This blog is dedicated to a new module of my BA(Hons) Press & Editorial Photography course, where I am creating four double-page spread editorials based on two photo stories.

One will use an existing 35mm black and white photo story from module PEP110 (see previous posts on home page), and one will be made up of pictures from a current project, which can be either digital or 35mm analogue.

The main difference between the two double page spreads is that one will be made up from pictures where I have not necessarily shot for an editorial space, where as the second will be pictures I have shot specifically for the editorial space.

For the second double page spread, I have the option to use digital pictures, which opens doors to potentially creating a layout with colour images as opposed to black and white. I will also be given complete control over how many images I can use for the establishing page and the main body, where as for the first spread, I am limited to one picture for the establishing spread.

In a world where there are fewer and fewer jobs within the editorial process, it is necessary to be the ‘architect’ of your own work. Not just being able to take a photograph as a photographer, but to also be the picture editor, journalist, designer and art director.

This blog will hopefully take you on my journey of creating the editorial. I will post what I have been inspired by, my choices of negatives and digital files, the scanning/digital editing processes, successes and struggles with InDesign, lecture notes and so on.

So if you have an interest in creating editorials but don’t know much about it – you may find this page interesting/useful/boring/rubbish.

See you on the next post.

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