Friday, November 6, 2015

Every Photo Has A Story

by Dotti

Here at FOL, we have preached loud, long and often about the practice of seeking beauty, finding it in our lives and capturing it with our lenses. But a few weeks ago, my thoughts began to wander in a different direction: photographs tell stories. This is not a new concept and sure enough, as soon as I began to plan a post on this theme, I found three more bloggers thinking in a similar vein.

Sarah Huizenga (aka Paisley Rainboots)

So, I perused some of my photos from 2015 and set myself to the task of finding the stories they told.

After 5 days in Paris, she went to Venice, or Venezia, as the Italians call it. It was an epic adventure for an 8-year old American girl. The sun was so bright in Italy, she decided she needed a cap to help keep the glare from her eyes and sun from her face, a cap which proudly announced where she was, “Venezia”. It was here that she discovered gelato and it was love at first bite. As she enjoyed her new favorite treat, she savored the sights, sounds and smells coming through the open window overlooking the busy street.

Oh, my! Traveling is fun but can be so exhausting. Now in Florence, or Firenze, she’d seen Michaelangelo’s magnificent David and the famed Duomo, and was now spending a morning in the Pitti Palace gardens. But all the walking and climbing and playing of the past days had tired her out and her father gave her a much-appreciated piggy-back ride up the hill on that garden path.

Pompeii. We all know that story. How thousands of years ago, in 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted into a giant volcano, spewing hot boiling lava and ash down on the city of Pompeii. For its time, Pompeii was quite a sophisticated city in the Roman Empire. Today it is almost unbelievable to see how anything survived the rolling inferno which killed so many and sobering to see thosethat same ruins. But today it is also possible to see that amidst the remnants of this ancient city new life and new beauty can be found surrounding it all.

Without a sound, the snow came as we slept, falling all night long and covering our world with several inches of white fluff. Schools would be closed; some businesses, too, no doubt. The day would be less noisy with the blanket of white that always seemed to deaden the noise of everyday life. And through it all, stood the old bench.

The bench had seen the teen-age girl become a young lady. It had seen the toddler granddaughter climb on it and play. But as age and weather took its toll, the old bench became less steady, unsafe. It became a favorite place for the photographer to take photos because of the wonderful weathering and texture on its surface. But now the bench seat leaned at a 45 degree angle, beyond repair. Good things are known to come to an end. Even things that are much loved.

Snowy, cold winter days call for the warmth and comfort of hot tea and yummy tea treats. On this snow day, the granddaughter and grandmother enjoyed orange-spice tea and cranberry-orange muffins. What better way to prepare and serve it than in their favorite polka-dot teapot?

How about you? Have you ever given much thought to the stories you tell – or could tell – with your photos? After having so much fun myself with this little exercise, I encourage you to look at your photos with fresh eyes to see what stories they hold. It’s not only fun but enlightening as well.It may give you new insight into how you see the world around you as it unfolds.

I’d love for you to post photos on our Flickr or IG pages and attach a little story to it, just for fun. You might be surprised what you come up with.

As for me, this week while I’m in Phoenix with the other FOL Life Sisters, I’ll not only be looking for the beauty around me, I’ll be looking for the stories I can tell with my camera about our time together. 


Cathy H. said...

You have lovely stories to tell and you photograph them so well. I've been thinking about photography and story telling this week, too. (thanks to Sarah) I think it would be fun to go back, pick some photos, and write down their stories. There's always a little more to the story than a photograph can tell. I can't wait to hear about the stories from Phoenix!

Carol said...

These are great stories -and your pictures are so appropriately taken that we could have guessed some of those details. You succeeded in doing it with pictures but I love hearing the narrative anyway. It feels downright poetic! And it sound s like you really had fun remembering it all! You know I love a story -great job!

Sarah Huizenga said...

Wow! Big shoes to fill being grouped with Kim and Kim :) I LOVED hearing the back stories to your photos, especially loved the story of the bench, you gave a well worn object a great gift.

AFishGirl said...

I'm heading over to show you my squirrel story...

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