Storytelling With Photographs
Storytelling with photographs may be difficult sometimes. As photographers, sometimes it is difficult to write blog posts, post to instagram or some other social media page because you don't know quite what words to add to your already attractive image. Likewise, a mom might find it difficult to journal in scrapbooks for her kids because she thinks the images speak for themselves, or she can't find the words to say. If you have ever walked through an art gallery and seen famous painted portraits, sometimes there is no known information about that person who was painted. Our minds eye might jump around to make up a story. Maybe the man's hair is dirty and you begin to make up reasons why. Another painting can show a little girl with one shoe on, and you devise a story about her running to school and leaving one falling off in the dirt. What happens next? Where does the story go?
Lately I have been pushing myself to think about a story of a shot before I shoot it. Depending on where I am at the time, who or what I am photographing, I think of key things that can add or alter the story I want to tell.
One of the ways I have pushed myself the most is by taking more horizontal images. I know that sounds simple enough, but I have a tendency to naturally take vertical images. I feel that by getting more of the lateral view of whatever I am photographing, I am able to see more details and the natural perspective that our eyes see.
In the past couple of months, here are some horizontal shots I have taken...as you see them, does your eye catch any details in particular? Does you mind start to run away with a story or thought?
As I get the chance to photograph more lifestyle shots that I LOVE, I think the stories become even more fun. As a mom, I love to journal about shots I put in memory books for my kids.
From the photographer perspective, before I share a shot on social media, especially Instagram, I like to ask myself a few questions:
1) Is there a story I am telling with this photo? What caption can I write that will add to the mood and connection to this image?
2) Does it meet my criteria of a good image that shows off my style and brand?
3) What feeling do I want viewers to take away from my image?
I am pretty intentional when I write a blog post or other post about an image. If I started editing images with sky overlays and dark colors, I know some people might question my "new style" because it just isn't "me".
When blogging or scrap-booking thoughts of images, it could be as easy as writing a list of ten descriptive words that come to mind about a shot. Use who-what-when-where-why.
Those words can grow into a sentence, and then you have 10 sentences that tell the story.
How do the subjects make you feel?
What do the colors of the image remind you of?
Is this image unique, unlike something you have ever seen before?
What were you thoughts as you took that shot?
Here is an example of what I say about that 4th image of my daughter sleeping:
After a busy day of graduating from Kindergarten, she napped. I notice how she laid on her cheek and it reminds me of one of her baby pictures. Soon after I shot this, she started sucking her same two fingers she has since she was a few days old, only now her two bottom teeth are on the verge of falling out. My, how time flies!
I will never be a famous author, but as her mom, I treasure shots like that.
Do you like to tell stories with your images? Do you like to write down memories for your kids?
If you might like to win a Midnight Project Life kit to make journaling in memorybooks even more fun, pin the images in this post and/or share this post on FB....leave a comment telling me you did! What is your style? What do you like to journal about?
I can't wait to hear from you!
(Project Life kit drawing ends on June 1st...name with be drawn randomly that morning)