Blogging My Book: The Four Personas

As mentioned during previous posts, I’m working on a book about nature in the city. In preparation, I have shot thousands of photos, most of which are from my yard. Will all of them make it into the book? No!

My cycle of shooting and selecting involves four personas:

  1. Excited Martha! I just shot some photos and looked at them with my camera’s preview screen. Oh, do they look good! Then I load the images into my computer, and it’s time for …
  2. … Grouchy Martha. I look at those images and OMG! What was I thinking? If they can’t be saved, I’ll just delete them. The good news is that I can see what my camera settings were. If I wasn’t off by much, I’ll just tweak those settings, head back into the yard, and try again. Quite often, my second attempt results in at least one or two keepers. If I’m not there yet, there’s always time for a third attempt. Or a fourth. (Yes, I am a perfectionist.)
  3. Hopeful Martha is the one who moves the keepers into the appropriate folders on my computer. I currently have more than 500 keepers in all of my folders, and I’ve asked my mentor, a veteran university art professor, if she would help me edit them down to the best. Absolutely not, she said. Instead, she wants me to make a preliminary selection and present it to her. I’m anticipating that we’ll be considering a total of 200 photo possibilities for the entire book.
  4. After the presentation and review session, I will become Confident Martha. With the help of my mentor, I will have a selection of photos, some of which will support the narrative and the others will be the classic full-page coffee table book photos. I’m also planning to offer the full-page photos as wall art.

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