Every now and then, you and I come across an image that makes us pause, observe, think and imagine the story behind it.
It’s not just the way you capture it, but actually, a whole picture that includes even the observer to be the part of the scene.
This style of photography is loosely known as Storytelling Photography.
Telling a story with photos is not only a challenge but is also subjective to what would you, as a photographer would like to show your audience.
But to make it simpler, and easy to practice we are going to share How you build Storytelling Photography Skills for your audience and strengthen your bond with them.
By the end of this article you will know about:
- What Is Storytelling Photography?
- Benefits Of Storytelling Photography
- Best Tips To Get Started With Storytelling Photography
- Must-Follow Storytelling Photographers On Instagram
What Is Storytelling Photography?
Storytelling Photography is a style of capturing your subject in a way to showcase tension, inspiration, or emotion in one singular frame. There is no use of motion or text to convey a story.
This puts a limitation. But at the same time act as a creative boost as well as an opportunity to upgrade your skills and shine as a Storytelling photographer.
Benefits Of Storytelling Photography
Just as product photography, & portrait photography have their own benefits, telling a story with photos has its own. Here are some points which will share with you why you must try telling a story with photos.
- Build a real connection with your audience. Unlike other styles of photography, telling a story with photos seems to be more impactful for obvious reasons. In other styles of photography, only one person might be involved in the sense of vision, but in the case of this style, the imagination of the viewer is triggered.
- Makes you more memorable. And it can be put in facts. Stories are the most successful ways of transferring information from one generation to another. It is because stories are easy to remember for a long period of time. The rules apply same to telling a story with photos.
- Is shared Widely. When you share a story through an image, it becomes much easier for people to remember. Not just memorable, but in the digital world it becomes much more shareable. Leveraging social media can allow reaching a much wider audience, giving you the desired exposure and maybe even more.
- Makes you stand out. While there are many popular niches within photography, storytelling is among the few that have popularity within the audience, but scarcity among the creators. This puts you in a great place to make yourself stand out from the crowd and create your own distinguished identity even from the start.
Best Tips To Get Started With Storytelling Photography
Explore yourself first
Storytelling photography is not much different than simple storytelling. You analyze your own vision of the story and present it to your audience. The only extra step that you need to take here as a photographer is to learn where do you want to see yourself.
For example, if you find yourself motivated towards a cause of making the earth a more happy place, you will find your stories in roadshows, events, and other places where similar people come together.
If you are a person who finds the story in nature, animals, or interaction of humans and nature you will find your next story at the place where you go yourself.
To put it in more simple words, your next best storytelling photography idea will be at a place where your interest is invested in. Be it a football ground, a cafe, your street or even in your room.
Understand the end goal
When you are capturing the shoot, it is important to know the “why” aspect of it. Why do you want to capture it? Understanding the end goal gives you a much clear vision of what do you want in your frame.
This also helps you learn about the tonality of your image as well as the overall composition while telling a story with photos. While many things can be adjusted in post-production, adding objects can alter the overall sense of the story that you are looking to convey.
Learn what your end goal is and try capturing subjects that are helping you convey that message.
Adding excessive elements in a single frame can usually create a chaotic sense. This can often distract the audience from the story, making it just another beautiful shot on the internet.
For this, it is highly recommended to keep the distractions minimum. One way to do so is to share just one story in a frame. Particularly one person at a time, one situation at a time, and one place at a time.
Sure you can have multiple people in a frame but it should be clear whose story are you sharing. In the above example, Ben White has showcased exceptional work in explaining this point
Master the photography compositions
In one of our previous blogs, we shared 24 composition techniques that beginners can use. In order to create a storytelling photography style of your own, you need to have a good sense of composition. Why?
Because following compositions are way our eyes naturally respond and remember things in our day to day life. Some basic photography compositions are the rule of thirds, symmetry, and leading lines.
Learning more such techniques can enhance the way of telling a story with photos.
Once you have made peace with the way you want to capture, it’s time to learn about what tells the audience with the colors. It would be an understatement when we say colors play important role in photography.
But to say the least, if your composition techniques give structure to your photography, color compositions give life and emotions to your photography.
So be the storytelling photographer that understands both and uses them to spread his message through the photos.
Know your audience
This one is important. Understanding who you are looking forward to telling a story with photos can make the process more simple and easy.
Is it for general people or people with certain status or mindset, is it for catching people’s attention from across the globe or something just family and close ones?
Answering these simple questions can be a great way to get yourself driven mindset. Moreover, understanding will also help you create a best-case scenario, in an uncontrolled environment.
If you are in a controlled environment, understanding your audience will also allow you to guide the scene more effortlessly.
Symbols are part of our day-to-day life. Making them self-explanatory to people and sharing a common message. Using them, you can easily differentiate your subject as well as the whole image.
In the above example, one can clearly differentiate the main subject of the frame. Jersey number 5 easily stands out in the frame and due to the great composition by Ferdinand Stöhr the image is among the best storytelling photography example.
Must-Follow Storytelling Photographers On Instagram
There is an abundance of inspiration out there in the world. To help you get started with Storytelling photography, we are sharing the top 3 inspirational storytelling photographers on Instagram that you can follow right away.
1. Irfan Junejo (@irfanjunejo)
You can find one of the most diverse and engaging storytelling photography examples in the feed of Irfan Junejo. The feed explores nature, humans, architecture, bikes, and sneakers for sure
2. Theron Humphrey (@thiswildidea)
If you are a dog lover and fond of stories, following Theron Humphrey will be both a fun and learning experience for you. The account is ruled by some great shots and a sure sneak-peek into the amazing life of the dog.
3. Victoria Siemer (@witchoria)
If you are a person who likes to tell real-life stories, a photographer who is looking to capture stories that can make a real impact, you must follow Victoria Siemer. The feed is filled with photography inspiration sharing stories in just a single frame.
Before we wrap up this article, we would like to summarize the learning of storytelling photography. We know that it delivers one of the most memorable results, to say the least. But it does without saying that in order to achieve the best results, it takes time and practice.
Understand your personal call, understand your audience and learn the skills you need. Following these simple techniques would surely deliver results. Moreover, if you think this article was useful, bookmark it for future reference or share it with the fellow team if you like.
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