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Camera House : Better Pictures 13
PeoPle snaps ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ Photo Friday winner Michelle Joyce takes us through her photographic journey. Iremember a rather tragic trip to the zoo that resulted in a whole roll of film made up of blurred, tiny, animals or extreme close-ups of the cage bars”, recalls Michelle Joyce of her earliest photographic memory. Fortunately, Joyce has far better success with her snapshots these days and has turned her childhood hobby into a successful part-time business, shooting sports with her husband. “We specialise in team photos” says Joyce. Joyce says that while she shoots sports to earn a crust, she has a preference for outdoor portraits (“mostly using natural light”) and that when it comes to her creative process, planning takes first place. “I generally plan the shoot and visit the location at the time of day I’m intending to do the shoot – so that I don’t have any surprises. My husband does his best ‘modeling pose’ for me to test the light and background during a location scout, and I always make sure there’s somewhere nearby that I can shoot under cover in case the weather doesn’t want to play the game.” Her idea of a great photo is an image that contains “emotion and atmosphere” and she believes that if a photo “has me so engaged that I keep coming back for one more look, and all I can think is ‘I wish I took that’,” it’s the mark of a truly great image. When it comes to the creative process, Joyce says she is a fan of props to assist in setting the tone. “I have a good collection of props (mostly some kind of headwear) and I like to plan a bit of a theme around one of my props. I find a model, either from a networking site or family and friends. Then I look for inspirational photos online or in magazines so I have a reasonably clear vision of what I want from the shoot as far as poses, background and lighting. “Then, starting with the idea, it could be something I think of out of the blue, an image or artwork, a scene from a movie. Then I gather any props that are required and decide who my subject will be.” A case in point would be her recent Photo Friday winning image ‘Driving Miss Daisy’. “A couple of years ago, I saw a picture of James May (of Top Gear fame) that I loved, and I kept a copy of it in my ‘inspiration’ folder for future reference. We had a competition coming up at our local camera club where our set subject was ‘Book and Movie Titles’ and the idea of using this concept as a starting point came to me. The driver was our Camera Club President at the time and Miss Daisy is his wife. Tony, the driver, has a very expressive face and kind of crazy hair that fit my vision perfectly. It was my best planned, perfectly executed and most fun concept shoot ever and I’m not sure that I’ll ever top it!” “It was my best planned, perfectly executed and most fun concept shoot ever, and I’m not sure that I’ll ever top It!” Joyce thinks there is plenty to gain from participating in a camera club or competitions such as Camera House’s Photo Friday. “Shooting for a set subject is a great challenge and I think it inspires people to shoot things they wouldn’t usually shoot. There are some extremely talented photographers in the Camera House group and we get to see so many fantastic images week after week. It’s interesting to see different people’s interpretation of the same theme.” In fact, Joyce believes that coming up with a creative idea “is more than half the battle” in crafting a winning image. “ While I am very lucky to have great camera gear, a lot of my photos that have been successful in the Photo Friday comp could have been taken with any camera.” ■ PROFILE Photo friday 23 023_Bpics13_peoplesnaps.indd 23 28/05/13 9:07 AM
Better Pictures 12
Better Pictures 14