Visual storytelling is not a young craft and it is a pretty common artistic way of expressing an idea.
This is a guest post from Isabella Foreman
It is used in many different arts; photographic practices are not an exception. But, in order to be able to effectively express an idea through a photo story or photo essay, first you have to understand that photography and storytelling through photos are two quite different things.
Storytelling through photos has to have a captivating effect on the viewer. It has to make the viewer wonder, inspire strong emotions, and also be able to stick with the viewers for long periods of time. If you have ever considered trying the art of storytelling through photos, here are some of the impactful storytelling ideas to get started.
Impactful Storytelling through a Single Image
There is a chance that you didn’t know that you have been looking at dozens of single image stories on a daily basis. Those photos usually accompany news articles. The single image story relies on the ability to make the viewer wonder about it. In order to achieve this, you have to pick out the message you want to send thus making sure that the message is important to the target audience.
For instance, take a look at the past presidential campaign in the USA. The portrait photos of both presidential candidates used in the newspapers go along with the text that follows them.
In most cases, we will see both single and multiple image stores addressing key aspects of civilization. Usually it is about politics, economics, rising awareness about some illness, human rights, nature, global events, how to cope with stress; in other words, anything that has or might have an effect on people’s lives.
This is why photographers that have experience in storytelling advise novices in the field to introduce a relationship in the image by shooting more than one person. Playing with unseen (blurred) elements in the image also has significant impact on the viewer’s attention. Also, make sure to avoid setting up a way too artificial background of photo because it subtracts originality and makes the photo less authentic.
Impactful Storytelling through Multiple Images
Once you have practiced your storytelling skills by “writing” a lot of single image stories, you should try a multiple image story. When it comes to ideas, they stay the same as for single image story ones. Always make sure to present something that carries value, that’s authentic, and that will leave the audience with something to ponder about. Ensure that images are less cluttered so that the story would bear the impact you plan for it to have.
Another important element of this entire craft is photo editing, as it is crucial in both cases if you want to add to the overall experience.
Hopefully these will be enough to get you inspired and on the right track to successfully create an engaging and captivating photo essay. You have seen that, besides the knowledge about storytelling and photography, you have to pay attention not to overuse captions. Since this is a very popular craft, you can explore photo stock websites and blogs where photographers share their photo essays and ideas, to get those creative juices flowing. Good luck!
This is a guest post from Isabella Foreman, Freelance Content Writer, www.smartphotoeditors.com; firstname.lastname@example.org. Images were taken from the authorized account of the writer from Dreamstime. I have been given permission to post this article.