Wednesday, May 16, 2012

There's A Story Here....

I find myself perusing Flickr (usually when I'm procrastinating at work) to see all of the beautiful photography that is out there just waiting to be seen.  I am enthralled by the images that make me stop and wonder what is happening, what the photographer is trying to tell me.  Storytelling photographs engage the viewer and invite them to participate.  They don't always show faces yet still convey emotion through body language along with the use of light and composition.  It's a participatory art form which is what makes it so attractive to me.  It is so easy to convey the obvious in a photograph, but it takes some real thought to draw your viewer in by leaving things unanswered.


Here in landlocked Oklahoma we have tons of lakes and catfish, but no seaweed or seashells. When my children visited the ocean for the first time I shot lots of photos that showed the excitement on their faces as their toes felt the give of the sand,  the waves splashing over their feet and they tasted the saltiness of the sea.  What I love about this image above is that it does not show the obvious, but to me it shows the real adventure that was going on as they discovered someplace totally new to them.  We brought home lots of seashells and souvenirs, but this is my favorite thing I brought home from our trip to Amelia Island.


There are no faces, no real clues as to what's going on here except for three girls who climbed a fence.  After I posted this photo on Flickr and Facebook the comments were so interesting to read because everyone wanted to know what was on the other side of the fence.  One of my favorite comments said that it really captured the curiosity of childhood.  I just loved that because instead of a just a fun shot it turned into something more real....more true.
Ernest Hemingway said "Write all the story, take out all the good lines, and see if it still works."  
We would love to see some of your favorite storytelling photos in our Flickr Pool We want to know your tips and tricks!

15 comments:

Carol said...

This is so cool, Leigh! I often think about what I want to show, but not much about what doesn't show. Combine this with STephanie's tight crops, and you two have given me new things to think about while I'm shooting. That's why I love reading about photographers as well as looking at their pictures - we all learn so much from collaboration! I can't wait to get out there this weekend and play with stories!!

Carol said...

This is so cool, Leigh! I often think about what I want to show, but not much about what doesn't show. Combine this with STephanie's tight crops, and you two have given me new things to think about while I'm shooting. That's why I love reading about photographers as well as looking at their pictures - we all learn so much from collaboration! I can't wait to get out there this weekend and play with stories!!

Dotti said...

Mah-ve-lous, my deah! I love story-telling photos and these are wonderful examples. I find story-telling photography to be very challenging but you've inspired me to pursue it. Such fun!

Hugs,
Dotti

terriporter said...

I've always loved shots from behind, especially of children, so these really speak to me. I think telling the story this way is much harder but so much more rewarding. It draws the viewer in and makes them want to be part of what's going on. I just adore these two shots! Thanks for reminding all of us that telling the story is something we need to aspire to when we are taking photographs.

terriporter said...
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Linda said...

Such sweet shots of your kids! I like the shots that are not posed, where you catch them in the act of being a kid!
It's hard for me to create a storytelling photo because I try too hard to show exactly what I want to express. Even then sometimes it doesn't come through the way I intended! Something for me to work on for sure!

xo,
Linda

AFishGirl said...

Ah my, the stories behind, the inherent power of what we choose to include and what we choose to leave out in our shots. This is a great post, Leigh. Really gets me thinking. And love the two shots you includeded.

Jeanine and Emily said...

I just adore the shot of the three girls on the fence!!

Jeanine and Emily said...

And I need to think more about what my photos are saying...or what I'm trying to say with them. Thanks for that inspiration.

leighlovedesign.com said...

Thank you Pam! Whenever I see a storytelling photo I always wonder what was going through the photographers head and what they are trying to tell us.

leighlovedesign.com said...

Thank you Jeanine! It's my daughter, my niece and their good friend. It was so funny because they all ran over to the fence at the same time and started to climb it so of course I ran behind them with my camera. I never did find out exactly what they were doing, but I love that the viewer can create the story.

Sam said...

Leigh,

What a great photograph of the girls looking over the fence. It really makes you want to know what is over there. I have always enjoyed taking pictures of "kids being kids". This made me think of some of the photos I took of my kids a long time ago...before the digital age. I am posting o photo of my son the first time he went candlepin bowling. It brings back my fond memories. Thanks for helping me remember those times and forgotten photos.

Deanna said...

These are the best because there is wonderment in the images. I love them, capturing moments like these are storytelling magic!!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Ms. Storyteller. You tell it beautifully. Im going to run thru my oldies :) thanks for taking me back.

Hugs
Claudia

leighlovedesign.com said...

Thanks Sam! can't wait to see your photo!

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