Making Pictures your Own
‘Visual Storytelling’ is something that I talk about a lot and is often how I describe my photos. Visual Storytelling is what takes your photo from just being a good photo to having a story and a personality behind it.
And the great thing about visual storytelling is that the story is your own. People can copy the photo, but they don’t have the same story behind it so their photo ends up falling flat.
When you visual story tell with your photos, you are putting a little part of yourself in each and every photo, making them your own. I don’t do this with all of my photos, but the majority of them I do. This also makes it so much easier to write your captions, because you have a story behind the photo!
What is Visual Storytelling?
Well, it means you are, quite literally, telling a story visually. If you take my The Flat Share photo for example, it becomes so much more than a stop motion when you realise that the story of The Flat Share is about two people who share a bed but have never actually met. I know, I know, I am a genius!
Have you ever created a photo but when you go to post it, you can’t for the life of you think of a caption? That’s because you haven’t told a story with your photo. You have just taken a photo for the sake of taking a photo. If you tell a story with an image, then the words for the caption will follow.
Visual Storytelling is not just important because it makes writing captions a lot easier, it also means that your photos are more likely to have an impact on people because you have given them a story. I know a lot of my favourite photos that I’ve seen on Instagram have a story behind them, and a lot of the time that story has been personal.
How Do You Tell Visual Story Tell?
You don’t have to do this for every photo, but before you have a photoshoot think: What is the story that I’m trying to tell here? What do I want this photo to say? Even if you’re just having a photoshoot in the woods, think of the story that you want to tell with your facial expressions. What do you want this photo to feel like? This will make them a whole lot more impactful.
Visual Storyteling in lifestyle photos is super easy. If you want to take a photo of you in bed, you just have to set the scene: Do you want it to look like that you’re having a movie night? You’re going to need your laptop and a lot of snacks! Want it to look like you’re reading? Get some props in like a tea or coffee! Create the mood, set the scene.
Visual story telling isn’t as complicated as you might think, it’s just like being the director of your photos. Don’t go into a photoshoot blind without knowing what you want to say, because that just makes the job a whole lot harder for yourself.
So before you think of the inspiration for a photo think of the story of the photo.
Be gentle with yourself and start small, make this fun because it absolutely should be.
What questions do you have about visual storytelling?