The power that tells a story through pictures is remarkable! Telling a story through pictures – is simply visual storytelling through ones life and time.
Telling a Story Through Pictures
It has taken me a while and a lot of tries at different things, to find the type of photo sessions that work best worked for me and my clients. I started off shooting clients (as well as taking great pictures of my own kids) at local parks, or I would find remote locations off the side of the road with tall grass and beautiful golden sunlight. The images I created were beautiful, but they were missing something. I soon realized my passion was in the art of storytelling.
How do pictures tell a story?
When I looked at pictures, I could see sweet smiles, soft wispy curls, and bright blue eyes. But the images did not help me recall specific memories or stories….What was there favorite toy at that age? What things were they just learning to say or do? And so I started looking for photographers who work inspired me to shoot my family and clients differently….to capture real genuine moments, that tell a story of who they are today. This is where I found and then fell in love with pictures that tell a story and documentary photography.
For clients, I work with them before the session to plan the actives that they would love to capture. We discuss the activities that their family loves to do together, favorite toys that they would like to remember, or silly habits that their children do today, but will likely grow out of soon.
Messy, dirty, fun, creative, beautiful and so much more. Every photo you see will tell you a story. And every viewer will see a different part of the story. – Pictures that Tell a Story
Shutterbug states that a story can be told in one image – or more.
With my own kids it is a bit easier. I look for the things that interest them the most. Maybe it is my oldest child/ s new love of building legos, my little girl learning to ride her bike for the first time, or my baby trying to dress himself. Those are the stories I want to remember. These are the visual stories that I want to keep and cherish for a life time.
With each story, I approach it much like reading a book. I first try to take wide angle images to set the scene. Using my camera lens that gives me the widest angle in order to capture the most of the scene as possible.
Then I move in closer to introduce the characters, and slowly I work my way to the details. I may switch camera lenses to my 50mm 1.4 at this time – helping me look at the pictures and tell a story. Getting all the way to the details of capturing just the tiny hands, just the object they are playing with or the flower they are picking.
Always start wide and work towards the details for the pictures that tell a story in sequence. Using this though process and method will help you to not leave out any details of the story as well as sets the scene of your picture story. Plus I never have to question myself if I’ve gotten a detail shot or a wide angle shot…I know my process has created this checklist in my mind already for me!
The Art of Storytelling
I try to ensure that the story has a beginning, middle, and end. As we move throughout the session I capture “transition” images, that help the story flow from one activity to the next. Throughout the session, I think about if I have a good beginning and ending to my story, everything else will fall somewhere in the middle.
Once the session is done, I sit down and look at the images and thing back to the story I want to tell. Like a writer or director laying out a storyboard, I layout the images in an order that best tells a story, and by the end leaves you smiling.
We all know that, just like a book, the beginning and the ending are the real keepers – same with your storytelling through photography…you are writing a book only with pictures.
One way to create a story with your pictures is to place them into a printed coffee table album. Printing your photos for your home and even clients is vital in completing the idea of Telling a Story Through Pictures. Using these tips and steps to create a story through documenting will boost your creativity and spark a joy of photographing the everyday life for yourself or others.
Jennifer Vititoe Photography | New Orleans, La
Nicole Keener says
I absolutely love your blog. Always so helpful and makes me want to practice more and more!
Whitney Mills says
This is really helpful, thank you for sharing!! Your pictures are great.
Sarah Friend Harrigan says
Love this Jennifer! And <3 your work. I definitely went through the same phases in my journey & am so happy to finally have landed in the lifestyle/documentary genre.
Neely Moldovan says
Sandra Kay Hayes says
These are all just beautiful stories and the style I love best! The memories that through the years will always bring on the smiles! Thanks for sharing! What an inspiration!