It’s a common saying that a picture can say a thousand words, so it’s no wonder photographers are so successful in telling a story with just one image. Creating storytelling through photography is a wonderful way to use your skills behind the lens, but if you’re just starting out or are hoping for some additional advice to get it right, this article is sure to help.

You can tell a story with just one image or a series of images to take the viewer on a journey. Here ClickASnap offer some insights to photography storytelling and how to achieve it. 

What does storytelling mean in photography?

You can capture a photo that is able to evoke emotions, grab the attention of viewers, create tension or inspire others. It can have a huge impact on people when compared to telling a story with words, and it is much more challenging, giving you a great sense of achievement when you get it right.

It’s important to be authentic and respectful, particularly if your storytelling involves people or culture, and be sure to plan carefully before you start.

Understand your idea

Before you begin your storytelling project, it’s important to think about why you are doing it in the first place. This purpose can ensure you have a clear idea from the very start of why you want to try and capture this particular photograph. Fashion photographer Mike Azria shares that whether you’re shooting fashion photography, taking product images, or doing lifestyle shoots, understanding the intent behind the session and how the images are going to be used is a key to creating a strong set of photos. You should also consider who your audience is and who you’re hoping will take notice of your photograph and consequently your story. 

When planning your story and how to capture it, think about how much you want to reveal. There are two main ways to tell your story. Firstly, an open story whereby the viewer is able to draw their own conclusion, with their own experiences having an impact on the way the image and story is seen.

You can also tell a closed story, whereby the conclusion is obvious and doesn’t leave any room for further interpretation.

Be aware of distractions in the image

You should make sure that your photograph has just the right amount of information for the viewer. Any excess can be distracting and creates too much for the viewer to take in and process. This means you have little chance of capturing their attention for long enough, as you want the message to come across in a matter of seconds.

Consider what needs to be in your image and what isn’t important and be sure to capture the right angle of your subject to avoid any visual distractions. For example, if the background is not important, consider using your photography skills to blur it out.

Consider colours

Colours can play a huge role in photography as they can be very closely linked to emotions. The colour can also help the viewer to imagine the temperature, giving them more detail of the story.

Experiment with warm and cool colours to change the atmosphere in your photography. Shades of red, orange and yellow can evoke feelings of joy and energy, while cooler shades of blue, purple and green can transmit calmness or even unhappiness. 

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