How to Tell Stories With Your Photos

If you look at the work of a lot of the best photographers, their images go beyond technical quality and novel creativity by drawing you in with the stories they tell. The concept of storytelling in photography is a bit nebulous, however. So, how do you do it? This excellent video essay features a seasoned photographer talking through his thought process in creating such a photo. 

Coming to you from Karl Taylor, this great video essay discusses the process of telling a story with your images. One particularly salient point Taylor made for me was the importance of leaving a bit of ambiguity in your work. If you leave no room for interpretation in your photos, sure, the viewer will be more likely to understand what you are trying to convey, but your images are less likely to resonate with them simply because they may not represent their experience or way of looking at the world, and thus, they might not engage as deeply with your photos. On the other hand, if you leave a little room for viewers to find their own interpretation and meaning, they can connect with your work on a more personal level and will be more likely to be deeply affected by it. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Taylor.

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6 Comments
Deleted Account's picture

What a coincidence. My next door neighbour also had an accident when she was trimming her bush.

Deleted Account's picture

The cover photo looks soooo fake.

Catherine Bowlene's picture

It looks like an ANTM shot inspired by The Stepford Wives. The look is plastic and clearly a great amount of Photodiva skin smoothing filters had been applied here but iI guess it's done on purpose.

Deleted Account's picture

Good points. By saying "fake" I meant that it does not even resemble a situation when someone is falling off the ladder, - face expression, body position, everything. The body looks like it has been copy pasted from another image. Fake:)

Chase Wilson's picture

Do you think he was trying to make it look real?
It's obviously meant to look artificial.

Deleted Account's picture

Probably, you are right. I can't say or guess what he was trying to make it look like.