We've always talked about the power of photography to create many things. Among them are memories and feelings we attribute to a certain time in our lives. As witnesses with cameras, it's up to us to sew these memories together to be able to share them with people who weren't there. Imagine being able to do that with just a sequence of images. It's wonderful, really, if you think about it.
While vignettes and snapshots are always welcome in our photo albums, there's a special section we should try to save for frames that provide a narrative. These should be the stories we, ourselves, would want to tell for years to come. But before we are able to do that, we must have a clear understanding of what we wish to get across with our photographs. What is the subject all about? Is the story worth telling? How can we piece these frames together and make sense out of them later on?
There are a lot of things that can go into telling a story with the pictures we take but it's important that we, as the storytellers, ask ourselves these questions before we can begin with our tale.
Photography is a great tool to construct a narrative. A lot of photo projects here in the Community stem from this area of photography and they're a delight to come across from time to time. Narrative should be important to all photographers because, without it, photography would simply become a pastime that we can do without.
It is what gives our photos weight and that has always been the case ever since. Photojournalism, documentary photography, even fine art photography needs a narrative to be effective. It's not always the visual impact that hooks people in, the story in every frame is equally important.
The story in between the frames is important but we can't just write off the visual impact of an image. Photos don't always need to have a background story. Sometimes, the effort and technique of the photographer, as well as the beauty of the subject are enough to make it a stunning work of art. Narrative is not the end-all, be-all of photography but it helps to bridge the gap between the image and the viewer. The narrative is important because it simply connects the frames to the audience, therefore connecting the photographer to the viewer. It's a link created by a sequence of images that tell a story.
How about you? How do you use narrative in your photographic work? Comment down below and make yourself heard!