In Hayley Hines assessment of her Assembly Cut, she discussed having to change her subject due to logistics. She also mentioned that her daughter (her new subject) was not happy with the prospect of being the subject of a video portrait. Havyn (Hayley’s daughter) appeared to have an “Oh, Mom!” expression for many of the shots in the Assembly Cut. Hayley took the instructor’s feedback and tried to help Havyn feel more comfortable in front of the camera. One way that Hayley accomplished this in the first video was to shoot Havyn having fun on the swing. The sheer joy is shown brilliantly on Havyn’s face. The additional shots of her engaging in her favorite activities reflect that joy and it appears that Havyn did get more comfortable in front of the camera.
I loved the shot of Havyn running with her dog Blizzard. One question I would ask Hayley is, “Have you considered including production audio or an audio clip of Blizzard barking?” One suggestion to capture an audio clip would be to record the sound of him running in the grass with his collar jingling. Another idea for sound effects might be the sound of the ropes tightening and loosening while Havyn spins on the swing. If it is difficult to capture audio that you are happy with, one option would be to try using Westar Music’s Sound Effects library or another sound effect library. Using sound effects can really create more audio depth to the footage.
Hayley really took to heart some of the suggestions made by the instructor. It seems that mother and daughter started to really enjoy each other and the fun of the project. Havyn expressed pride and admiration in her Mom and really came to life in the video. The idea of helping a subject feel comfortable in front of the camera and allowing them to share their story is foundational in any portrait project. These first strides will only improve as Hayley moves on to new projects. Hayley has inspired me to take these ideas and develop them in my own projects.