Telling stories

When taking pictures I want to do one of two things and sometimes both – create a beautiful image and tell a story. Some pictures have both great beauty and narrative. Some are either one or the other but look a bit deeper and you might see more.

Beauty means different things to different people. To some beauty is caught in a moment, an expression that tells you everything about the way the subject is feeling, a reaction or the lines of age displayed on a face. To others beauty is a nail extension or a spray tan. It doesn’t matter, whatever beauty means to you is what counts – we can’t all be vajazzled by the same things.

Equally, a story can be told in many different ways. Take a wedding for example, which is the perfect opportunity to tell a story through a series of images. A story unfolds, from capturing the bride getting ready, walking down the isle, saying I do, to cutting the cake. But documentary photography isn’t just a collection of images, a single photograph tells a story itself. That’s what I enjoy about photography, I love to study an image, to really think about what’s happening in the moment. The moments of life pass so quickly, photographs allow us a rare opportunity to slow life down and study a stolen moment.

To illustrate what I mean take a look at the images below. I went to Shropshire to photograph Kevin who is a pigeon racer, there isn’t anything classically beautiful about the images but study them and you might find something that draws you in and if you don’t somebody will – Kevin, his friends, his family, other pigeon probably will.

The image of Kevin holding the bird looking back at the camera has draws me in. I think there’s a certain beauty in the narrative. He’s sharing the moment with me the photographer and you the viewer, studying us to see if we understand what he can see in his hobby, his passion – he’s sharing himself with us.

Portrait narrative photography blog picture