Awhile back, I taught a workshop at Anderson Ranch. Over a very pleasant lunch one day in beautiful downtown Snowmass, Chase Harrison (one of the participants who also happens to be a Licensed Massage Therapist) told me how health professionals use SOAP notes to assess patients and form a plan for treatment. We struck on the idea of developing something similar for photographers – something to help photographers assess their own work more objectively! We thought this would be particularly useful in cases where something about an image isn’t quite working, but we can’t put our finger on exactly what it is.
MielePhotoSoapNotesFormV2 (Right-click this link or the picture above to download the form as a PDF.)
The medical “SOAP note” (S.O.A.P. = subjective, objective, assessment, plan) is a form employed by doctors and other health professionals to gather all relevant information about a case, and to create and monitor a written plan for treatment. Photographers (notorious for their inability to emotionally distance themselves from their own work) can take advantage of the SOAP note formula to guide their darkroom work. Here is Jean Miele’s personal SOAP note form especially for photographers. Print this and use a pen to fill it out – or make digital copies & use PDF annotation/markup tools. Let it guide your (traditional or digital) darkroom work, and use it to explore what’s working and not working in your pictures – and your thinking!