Tuesday, July 19, 2016


by Leigh

There is a difference between photography and visual storytelling.  It's easy to take a photograph, but it can be more challenging to take a photograph that tells a story.  Sometimes pictures are taken in a series, but I prefer to seek out photos that can stand alone.  These types of photos draw you in and make you feel like part of the story.  Our camera is our tool we use to tell the story....not only capturing a moment in time, but something more.

Want to be a better visual storyteller?  Here are some tips:

1. Find a subject you're passionate about. All good storytellers create stories that matter to them.  For some people it's showing their travels, for others it's the natural world.  For me, my stories revolve around two loves of my life....my children and nature.

2. Paint a picture.  Sometimes a picture of a person isn't enough.  Showing context around the photo gives more adjectives to your story and becomes more of a descriptive narrative. Not only does the environment add perspective, but it also adds meaning.

3. Keep it simple.  When we over think things they become too contrived.  A viewer tends to easily escape in a storytelling image, while one that is overworked requires more effort.  Simplicity is key.  When you let yourself go and follow your own emotion then your image will reflect that.  

4. Be on the lookout for details.  You all know how much I love little details.  It's kind of my thing.  Asking yourself what is the story you want to tell?  That will lead you to your focus.  In the photo above my focus was on the leaf.  I didn't need to show her face to tell the story. 

5. Find your niche.  Find what interests you and create a story.

"There's always room for a story that can transport people to another place." J.K. Rowling  


Carol said...

OH Leigh, these are so precious! Editing is always a challenge for me, but you are the queen! The purple rain boots near the leaf tell us about the whole afternoon, and remind me of my childhood and my kids' childhoods. Each of these pictures do. Chock full of stories! I will try to incorporate your advice!

kelly said...

leigh, these are my absolute favorite types of images. thank you for the great advice!

Dotti said...

I love storytelling photos, perhaps best of any kind of photographs, and these are absolutely wonderful examples of this genre of photography. How fortunate you are to have two readily available subjects to tell stories about. And in years to come, these will be the stuff of family legends. Kudos, Leigh!

terriporter said...

My favorite photos of my kids when they were growing up are the ones that told stories and as you said, no faces are required for the stories to be told. Your photos are perfect illustrations of storytelling. Being a lover of the small details, I sometimes forget to back up and take in the scene that really tells the story. Thanks for the reminder that the story is the most important part!

Cathy H. said...

Great advice, Leigh. I need to take more time photographing my grandsons instead of just snapping away. Thanks for the reminder!

Rhadonda Sedgwick said...

Epic photos and great read and helps!! THanks!

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