LEARN HOW TO “TELL A STORY” WITH YOUR PHOTOS:

woman reading harry potter book
Photo by Dids on Pexels.com

Taking a photo of someone reading a story is not what I had in mind. But figuring out how to take pictures that reflect a story in the photo, is what I had in mind.

INCLUDE SMALL DETAILS IN YOUR PHOTO:

Imagine you have been given an assignment to tell a story about a certain person. How would you do it? Would you take a picture of the person at their desk? Doing the things they love to do at home? The important part of telling a story is the SMALL DETAILS. A standard portrait of the person does not tell the whole story. Get the details of what they have on their desk, a close-up of their hands, show the magazines or books all over the floor, maybe a wide angle lens showing them in their favorite environment.

white ceramic cup on white ceramic saucer beside white book on brown wooden table
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com – capture details of what is on their table or desk will tell you a lot about the person.

AIM FOR A VARIETY OF PHOTOS IN A SERIES

Put together a series of photos related to some activity. An example would be: a series of photos at a street parade, or a hiking trip. Put together a collage of different photos of the same subject, like this:

TAKE CONTROL OF THE ENTIRE FRAME:

Often you will have an opportunity to take a series of photos that show a lot of things going on within a certain area. Include as much as you can within the frame to tell a story.

boy in white and red school uniform raising hands outdoors
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com – This photo shows more than just one child coming home from school. It shows his friends, the street they live on, the modes of transportation for the families, and as much of the homes as possible.

PLAN AHEAD WITH A SHOT LIST:

If you know you are going to a location that you could tell a story, then make a list of the things that create a great story.

LEARN TO NARROW DOWN YOUR COLLECTION OF PHOTOS:

When you go some place fun, and you take a lot of photos, no one wants to see all 100 of your photos. Learn to find the 5 or 10 best and show those photos.

EMOTIONS ARE A GREAT WAY TO TELL A STORY

Nothing will tell a story like getting some emotions in the photo. This will usually involve a person, but if you can get an emotional picture of sadness, happy, joy, stunned, etc. you will create an amazing story. Think of these ideas:

woman sitting on wooden planks
Photo by Keenan Constance on Pexels.com
light dawn sunset fashion
Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels.com

men s white button up dress shirt
Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

CONCLUSION:

Photography is an art. Some of the best paintings of people show a story. This is the thing that makes photography great.

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THE ART OF TELLING A STORY WITH JUST ONE PHOTO:

There is an art in making a story out of your photos. Let’s learn some steps how:

Photography is an art in itself. It has many different categories that a photographer can choose to become good at. You can become a good portrait or wedding photographer, or you could be a master at scenery and landscapes. We recently had a blog on how to take good street photos. In a way, street photography is very close to being a “story telling” category. You will often take photos of people on the street, and sometimes as you look at these photos, you tend to try to figure out what that person is doing on the street. Are they just going to work, are they feeling sad, and you can see the anxiety in their face. So, let’s take a look at taking photos, just to tell a story.

Story telling with your photos involve bringing out feelings of the viewer:

This photo above could be so different, but it tells a story, one that makes you figure out what the child is doing, and picturing in your mind, what kind of mess she has made. You could have taken a photo of just the girl, doing nothing, or just posing for a portrait, or you could have taken a photo of her art. But, when you get a great photo of a child in action, it becomes a “story telling” portrait. Would you hang this on your wall? Absolutely. What is the reaction of the viewer? It’s: “Oh my gosh, this girl is so cute”. And people will love the action or playtime she is involved in.

Finding a person in any mood gets your mind going into the story:
Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

Want to really capture a mood, or story with a picture, pick something sad. Looking at the picture above, what do you feel? What is going on with this man? Did something happen to him? When you look at a photo, and questions come up as to what has happened or why is this person this way, is a great “story Telling” Photo.

Can you tell a story with Landscape or Scenery photography?
Photo by Nagy Arnold on Unsplash

Moody or eerie landscape photos is probably the more popular ways to produce a “story telling” photo. What happened when this photo was taken to create such a mood? Why is the lighting that way? Why is there not more light? Why did the photographer create such a photo? See how it can get your mind wondering why, and what is going on. This type of photo will create the best “story telling” photos.

Certain animal photos will create a real feeling from within:
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

I think this type of photo of your pet, tells people more of what the character is of your pet. Yes, you can spend hours getting “portrait” type of photos of your pet, but, the type of photos you see, where the pet is engaged in their favorite thing is the perfect type of “telling a Story”.

Photo by Андрей Курган on Unsplash
Conclusion:

Look around yourself and find different ideas of how to create a “Photo Story”. Watch and see the reaction of your clients, or friends and neighbors. Photography needs to change from the ordinary. Think about “Telling a Story” with your photos!

Article written by Lanny Cottrell, for 123PhotoGo. Photos compliments of “Unsplash”.