As much as we would like to deny it, the true essence of photography extends beyond the simple act of capturing images. For centuries, photographers have been using photography as a medium to curate stories that evoke emotions, ignite imaginations, or even create a lasting impression of moments and spaces around us. As an experienced photographer for over a decade, I firmly believe that the process of photography involves a lot more than just clicking the shutter button. A complete process of photography also involves a meticulous effort in crafting a series of images that tells stories through a careful process of curation and presentation of images.
Like every other creative field, the meticulous process of crafting a series of images starts with a well-defined concept and a clear vision. This concept will then shape the story and message that defines the decisions made during the execution of the entire creative journey down the road. Everything from the choice of lighting, color tone, and even techniques will all depend on this very creative concept. Creative concepts and a clear vision generally includes the message that you would like to convey, the emotion that you want the audience to feel and the overall art outlook of the project.
Assuming that you now have a set concept and vision to execute. The next step is obviously taking the image or capturing individual moments before merging them into a larger piece of story. During this execution phase, emphasis should also be given to how each photograph contributes in building the narrative and not just merely focusing on the technical aspects of the image. This stage requires the distinctive photographer’s eye to spot for connection between images, ensuring the visual continuity of the story line is maintained. Everything from colors, composition styles, and recurring motifs are parts and pieces that will ultimately shape the story together.
Once the images are captured, the narrative continues to evolve during the post-production phase, which is generally divided into two stages, namely selection and editing. Personally, this is the most important phase in the entire process of curation, where you select the most compelling and cohesive images that align with the narrative and retouch them accordingly. A practical tip for those who are trying out would be during the selection stage, we should be choosing images for their emotional impact rather than technical perfection. Meanwhile, in the editing stage, we should be adjusting the tones to deliver the mood and style of work that harmonize the visual experience across the entire set of images.
By embracing the art of storytelling through the power of curation, I strongly believe photographers can showcase their work in a way that invites viewers to step into the story that they intend to deliver through carefully crafted images. And lastly, the journey from drafting a concept to final execution requires more than just technical proficiency. It ultimately pushes photographers to go beyond their career by portraying their artistic vision, attention to details, and their deep understanding of viewer experience to curate a complete set of visual story that captures emotions.