Taking a picture is not just taking a picture. The picture tells the story of the moment and that applies to all pictures, the birthday party pictures, the family shots and the leopard photos from the photographic safari in South Africa.
Lets focus on the leopard for the moment. During our wildlife photography courses we try to see and photograph the Big 5 and choose the game reserves and National Parks accordingly. But still it can be hard to see leopards and that makes us going to the Sabi Sand in South Africa to make sure we see them.
You might have seen many leopard photographs and think they look quite similar with a leopard lying down in its typical majestic pose or lying on a tree branch and you might think they do not look much storytelling, but they do. It is not easy to photograph a leopard and capturing its entire beauty. The angle, the light, the look, all needs to be right to tell the story and often a leopard photo tells the story of a very lucky photographer, pressing the shutter at just the right moment. Even the blurred images and miss-composed ones are telling the story of the excitement of the moment and the difficult circumstances. Wildlife photography storytelling are not only the spectacular images of a kill or a chase. In every image is a story that makes us look at them.
Pressing the shutter is telling a story and makes photographers storytellers.
Direct Marketing News forecasted this year would be “the year of the story” and big brands like Nike, Google and Kimberly-Clark use storytelling as a means of communication and leadership. (via Fast Company). How do we fit in? Which role play stories in our lives? We write blogs, we photograph and we make photo books. We all got stories to tell and digital media allows us to share them with the world and anyone who wants to read them. Imagine only a few years ago. Who was writing a blog? Who was making photo books? Digital photography and social media created easy tools and platforms for expression and suddenly stories were told in words and pictures. Storytelling became accessible to anyone. No publisher would decide if a story was good and allowed to be told. The people are now deciding which story they like. It is amazing how many great storytellers are out there, only browse on this platform and you find the most talented people. What I would wish for an easier storytelling with pictures is an online tool with templates for photo ebooks, you know just like the Apple photo book templates, but then online and postable to all social media platforms and blogs. The photo ebooks would appear then as small flipbooks, just like blog posts and you click on them to leave trough. Or am I just living under a rock and this tool is already there? If yes, please let me know! It would be so much fun to make easily and quickly online photo ebooks, but just as beautiful as the gorgeous Apple photo books. Or is this just the idea photo storytelling needs?