My wife asks more questions than any human being I’ve ever encountered. When I first met her she interrogated me for three hours straight, asking the most inappropriate questions with the most serious of faces. I had no choice. I had to answer. So, with this in mind, I bring you my latest round of questions and answers.
Thank you to those of you who took the time to send in your questions. And for those of you who did not get a chance, well, send them now and I’ll get to them in the next round. Also, keep in mind I am just ONE person with ONE opinion based on a variety of factors and beliefs that may or may not overlap with your history or experience. My feelings about photography, social media, and publishing often fall outside the bounds of the mainstream, so keep this in mind. Be safe, be creative and best of luck.
Thoughts on Story Telling
I have been listening to what you have been saying about photography and storytelling on your Youtube Channel and Shifter Media with great interest.
I realized that if I want to be an effective storyteller with photography, I better get better at telling stories with with words **again**.
Telling stories with photos alone is very difficult. It is far too easy for a reader to glance at a photos and move on without *”reading”* it. Readers are flooded with images all day long. To be effective, the photos need to engage the readers. Words forge that link to photo stories.
When I was young I learned to read with picture stories. As I went through school I added words to my stories. My high school and college writing courses taught me to tell stories with words. As adults most or our stories have words as their major component.
It is hard (impossible?) to reverse the process and go back to telling stories with pictures alone.
Telling stories with a combination of words and photos is a balancing act. Photos really come into storytelling is putting a human face to the story.
In essence, if I can’t tell or outline my story in words, I have little chance to tell it in photos.
Making photographs isn’t easy. Making great photographs is entirely rare. Add in the written copy, the design, etc. and you are talking a monumental undertaking to do well. It’s like a five-tool player in baseball. Very rare. So, much of what we see today is done by cutting corners. Why do a book when you can rush out a Zine or portfolio of your work, passed off as a “Book” to a base who doesnt’ know the difference. A stand-alone photo essay is a rare thing these days, a great one anyway. Many of the “masters” of the 80s and 90s cant’ get it done anymore.
HCB said “sharpness is a bourgeois concept.” <–my HCB quote of the day.