Photography is made for telling stories. As humans we love a good story. It’s the best way to capture someone’s attention and convey emotion.
For this reason some of the best-selling stock photos are also those that tell a compelling story.
So how do you make a photo that tells a story? Here are some quick tips:
Pay attention to details. All the little details you choose to include will contribute to the overall story. This could be props, facial expressions, your setting, the weather, and the lighting. Little details add up to create an overall impression for the viewer.
Show a variety. Taking photos from different perspectives is a great way to tell a story. Cover all the angles, change lenses, and move your feet. Take both wide shots that show the scene and close-up shots that focus on the details.
Capture interactions. Show your subjects interacting with each other or their environment. Capture in-the-moment shots to make the viewer feel like they are part of the action.
Know your storyline. It’s important to think about what story you want to tell. That will guide you throughout your photoshoot. A little forethought and preplanning can go a long way.
Create a series. Storytelling images can be created with a single photo or a series. One benefit of creating a series is that it gives you more material for your stock portfolios. Since most stories have a beginning, middle, and end, think about creating a series of photos that shows a progression. For example, let’s say your story is about a birthday party. You could capture photos of party preparations, the actual event, and clean-up afterwards.
Show emotion. Emotion is what gives life to a photo. The emotion of your subject tells the story. Body language, facial expressions, and relatable moments are what will resonate with the viewer.
Remember, as a photographer you are also a storyteller. It’s the best way for your photos to make a lasting impression.