What is storytelling photography? It is an art form that captures pictures of moments through inspiration and emotions without using words or motion pictures. Unlike movies, where a thousand frames are needed to convey a story, here it only takes a single shot. It is a limitation that can be regarded as a setback, but can transform into an opportunity to shine out.
Why does storytelling matter so much in photography?
A simple image delivers random facts or data, but storytelling makes a huge impact like inspiring people to think and arouse their emotions. Creating such an image is challenging because it delivers an important message or how you feel or displays an idea regarding your passion for photography.
- Storytelling images can evoke strong emotions, which can even compel people to act or make social changes. For example, an image related to injustice or a social cause.
- Such pictures can enhance your connection with society.
- Your photographs can even influence competition judges making them choose your photos over the others.
Gregg Jaden, a commercial photographer has a passion for storytelling photography. He has helped brands improve their exposure, build customer loyalty, and increase their profitability. Browse through his gallery to look at his commercial photographer collection related to travel, adventure, lifestyle, etc. Instagram @greggjaden_ Twitter @greggjaden
Tips on how to introduce storytelling elements in your photography
Keep minimal visual distractions
Try shooting only one subject. Too many people or too much information creates chaos when viewed. You get a few seconds to grab viewers’ attention and convey the message across. Having minimal in the frame creates curiosity as you are offering little and allowing their imagination to work.
Start with ‘WHY’
- Why this story?
- Who is your audience?
- What is your concept?
- How to create the story?
Answer these questions as part of your mission. Sometimes a specific concept appears appealing in the start, but when you think for whom, the motivation, what theme, and how to do it—–everything seems doubtful. Use the doubts to get an insight and you will find a viable solution of creating a successful storytelling photo.
The stories in the photo grab attention to the main subject and crucial element related to the story. Use scale in your compositions. Composition means the exact information to capture in a frame and its precise location. It is obligated to use different focal lengths. Using a wide focal means environment or location is crucial to the plot. The telephoto lens is used to compress the depth or highlight the subject.
You must familiarize yourself with the different composition and structure rules. It will help you create impactful storytelling images. For example, the ‘Rule of thirds’ is commonly used in photography composition. As the human eye divides the scene into three parts, the important elements in the frame have to be positioned along the third intersections.
Capture powerful emotions
Facial expressions, body language, colors, light, props, softness, etc. can help photographers create an array of emotions. Show empathy to a total stranger and listen to their emotions. You will be able to click though-provoking photos that convey a story.
Know color theory to create visually pleasing and impactful images. The red spectrum [warm color] is known to increase enjoyable feelings and connect viewers delivering an energetic charge to the story. The cold colors like blue transmit calmness or unhappiness. You can even use a complementary color technique to make images pop and look more pleasant.
Photographs can make stories alive and memorable. Therefore, learning storytelling photographs is certainly worth the effort!
Photos used with permission from Gregg Jaden Studios