Somebody recently asked me, why I’d gotten into photography. My explanation, at the time, was that I was interested in capturing memories, and while that is very true, it’s much more than just that.
Photography is a form of visual storytelling, and as human beings, we’re wired to pay attention to stories, it’s ingrained in our DNA.
We make sense of the world around us through stories, our internal thought processes are formed into self-talk stories.
Stories stimulate our imaginations, and the interplay between our creative mind and our rational mind can take us on something of a journey.
Here’s a little game to illustrate this fact.
Here are three sentences….
- He went to the store
- Fred died
- Sharon went hungry and wept
Think about them for a moment, what is going on here?
Are Fred and Sharon married?
Who went to the store, Fred?
Why is Sharon hungry and weeping?
There are no right and wrong answers, but you’ll undoubtedly find your mind fills in the gaps, and looks for explanations to make sense of each of the sentences, and how they related to one another.
Great movies work in the same way, giving bread crumbs of information, and letting the viewers imaginations go to work in finding meaning in them.
We do the same with photographs, we look at the visual information presented to us, and ask why? What can I to take from this photograph? What is it trying to communicate to me?
As photographers, we can use devices like focus and depth of field to direct the viewer’s eyes and attention to a particular part of the photograph.
We use light and dark to do the same thing..
Learning photography is not just about understanding about shutter speeds and apertures, it’s about learning how to see, how to pay attention, it’s about being immersed in the moment.
Through photography, we start to see how light falls onto different surfaces, how it bounces, scatters and reflects back into the eyes.
How colours are intensified on bright sunny days and how shadows add contrast.
We see how light adds drama to a scene.
Using light to tell the story we want to tell.
Photography helps us get out of our heads and the abstract ideas and thoughts that so often consume our full attention and instead get out into the world, fully immersed in life as it unfolds, in the moment.
It’s teaches us to see and appreciate the beauty in simple and unexpected places and things.
Strip away the labels and judgements and see what’s hidden in plain view.
In the studio we help tell stories about people, pets, relationships and family dynamics. Each family is as unique as the individuals that make them up.
Each person is a dynamic story, still unfolding and growing, made up of experiences, memories with hopes and fears. We all embody a unique perspective that each person holds. I like the idea that we are the universe experiencing itself from infinite points of view.
Away from the studio, Hazel and I like to walk in nature, often along canal tow paths or in parks or even occasionally, in the hustle and bustle of cities, taking lots of photographs as we go.
Life is ever changing, moments are fleeting, nothing is permanent and photographs help us experience these moments in life, over and over, to relive the story again and again. To help us remember a place, a person and a time we enjoyed.
If you’d like to learn more about photography, check out my one to one tutorials.
If you’d like to come for a photoshoot, or buy a voucher for family, friends or colleagues, check out the links at the top of this page.