Telling Stories With Your Photographs

Take a look at your last photograph. What does it say?

What separates a picture from true artwork is the ability to tell a story.


image source striatic

It makes you think about the situation. It makes you wonder what’s happening outside of the picture.

capturing the moment

image source Ben

It’s about being patient – being in the right place at the right time to capture things a special way.

wedding details 2

image source austinevan

It’s about looking for the little things no one else notices.

It doesn’t matter if you’re photographing a portrait for a client that wants one wall hanging above the fireplace, or a large wedding. Approach your photography through the eyes of telling a story, and you’ll see a big difference in your photography.

1. Spend time thinking about your client. How can you tell a story? What do they want as a final product? Don’t just take snapshots. Use your camera to capture different sides of your client. Different moods. Let them do things naturally as opposed to over-posing. They need direction, but sometimes the best images come from just having fun.

2. Add emotion. Blankly staring at the camera is just an average photograph. Get your clients involved in the shoot. Show them the results through your digital back, or through a laptop. Get them excited. Have them run, jump, walk, twirl. It’s about having fun, not just a few shots.

3. Change the focus. Babies and children can be the most fun, no matter what you’re shooting. You can give them a small sea shell, and tell them there’s a magic bunny hidden inside. They’ll spend a long time looking for that bunny, and give you a ton of great expressions. The focus isn’t on you taking pictures – its on something that’s fun and exciting.

4. Get them to do the impossible. One of my favorite, award winning images was of a bride. In a beautiful long dress. Next to a tree. In the middle of three foot high evergreen bushes. How did she get there? We got excited about the possibility. We shared our vision. And she hiked up her dress, jumped through the bushes, and gave un an amazing smile.  The more excited you are, the more fun you have, the more you’ll get out of your clients.


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