Black and White, Featured, iPhone

Struggling with your photography storytelling?

April 28, 2018

“We ate well and cheaply and we drank well and cheaply and we slept well and warm together and loved each other.”
– Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Pick up a good book.

It’s a fairly easy answer, but one I believe could make a world of difference to so many photographers struggling with their creativity. Think about it—if photography is storytelling, then you need to supply your imagination with many stories (tucked away in your sub-conscience) so that when the time comes to be creative, you have something to draw from. It is impossible for most of us to have lived enough really good stories, and even if we have lived some really good ones, even great ones, we only have our one lifetime to collect them. On top of that, how much of that life have we lived before becoming a photographer? However, if we read great literature, novels, and poems we can turn all those stories into a deep source for our own creativity. It’s similar to technically knowing how to operate your camera—you learned it well so that you don’t have to think about how to use it when you need or want to use it. In that same way, you will draw on the stories you have read (learned) when you go on to tell your photography stories. At the very least, it won’t hurt you, and you’ll have read some great books.

I wish you all the creative life you seek and I hope this helps some of you get a little closer. Have a great weekend everyone!



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  • Reply Carolyn A Fahm April 28, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    The photo you have posted here is evocative of a place and story that I could never imagine. Going to the literature for inspiration is a proposition that makes perfect sense when you explained how by reading we gain experience far beyond anyone one person could possibly experience. I am always in awe of the art you create. Thank-you for giving us a clue for unblocking our visual storytelling.

  • Reply Kyle Hislip April 28, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Your idea rings true for me. Books I love: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Don Quixote by Cervantes, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski, Get in the Van by Henry Rollins, and Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil. Some are literary, some are contemporary, but all have a strong storytelling narrative.

    Thanks for the notion of good stories to feed our creativity and the lovely image.

  • Reply Heidi April 28, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    I love this photograph, and the lovely tip.

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