Photography is a visual medium, but that doesn’t mean it’s limited in terms of the stories it can tell.
A photo is a small snapshot of a moment, which can often leave room for more questions than answers. Here are a few ideas on storytelling through photography.
Day to night, autumn to winter, young to old; change is fact of life. Documenting a transition always creates a sense of time passing, no matter what the subject is. It could be something as quick as a frown to a smile, or as gradual as somebody ageing before the camera. Change is everywhere – find what interests you, and document it.
Place your audience in the story.
Why not to capture your subject looking into the camera, and draw in the eye as though there are no barriers between the real world and the world inside the photo. Try to make the person looking at the photo feel as though they are immersed in it, and the story will naturally follow.
Create a Series
Creating a series is a foolproof way of telling a story through your photography. Think of your photos as a storyboard, or a comic strip. No matter what your subject is, carefully choosing a sequence of photos so that the first leads on to the second, and so on, will result in a story.
Switch it Up
A chronological series will no doubt create a narrative, but why not change it up? The story will not be lost if the photos are placed in reverse order, or even completely mixed up. Having to knit the narrative together in the mind could create an even more interesting element to your photos.
Stories are all around us all the time, so it doesn’t matter where to look, it matters what you look for. Go in to your photography project with the desire to capture a story, and everything else will follow.