Today I Learned...

Key Takeaways:
  • When you're working on a new image, it’s important to ask yourself what story are you trying to tell.
  • What is the message you want your viewers to take away from your photograph?
  • These questions below will help you create better stories with your photos.

f you want to take your photography to the next level, it's time to start thinking about your images. If you want to take your photography skills to the next level, think about using what your lens sees as a way of telling stories. Stories are what bring our lives together. They give us something we can share with others through words or visuals.

In this article, I'll walk you through questions that will help you create better stories with your photos and bring them into focus quickly so they're easier for other people (and yourself) to understand.

What story am I telling?

When you're working on a new image, it’s important to ask yourself what story are you trying to tell. What is the message you want your viewers to take away from your photograph?

Here is an example: You have a picture with lots of color, and people say it looks great. But there's something about that photo that just doesn't feel right. Maybe there are some areas where the colors don't quite blend together or perhaps there is one color dominating over another.

The problem here might be that these colors are not conveying the same message as what you intended them too when creating this image. In order for an image to work well visually, we need all elements in harmony with each other so they can convey our intended message in a way that makes sense for us as photographers or creators of visual media

Is there a single subject I can focus on?

If there is one thing that will instantly improve your photography, it would be finding the subject. If you have no idea what to shoot, try these tips:

  • Look for an interesting perspective—This can be anything from taking a picture of something upside down or sideways, looking at something from a different angle than you normally would, etc. Or maybe it's photographing the dog with his tail in his mouth? It's all about finding things that are unique and interesting!
  • Figure out the story behind your subject—What makes this person or thing so special? Do they have an interesting background story or unique talent/skill? What do they love doing on their free time? If they were born somewhere else, why did they move here (or vice versa)? Once you figure out what makes them so special and unique—then take their photo accordingly!

What am I including in my photo, and what am I leaving out?

Now that you've chosen your subject, it's time to think about what else is included in your image. This may seem like common sense, but it's easy to forget that every element in a photograph must serve a purpose. If you're shooting for a specific reason (a magazine article on the dangers of texting while driving) then you need to make sure that everything—from the position of your model's hands to her facial expression—contributes towards making this point as effectively as possible.

If you're not quite sure what kind of story or message you want to convey with your picture, try brainstorming some ideas first before getting out there with camera equipment and props!

Also think about how all these elements will impact the emotional impact of your photo: do they align with what kind of feeling(s) do want readers/viewers/audiences feeling after seeing it?

Use props to convey your story.

What action or emotion am I conveying with my image?

By this point, you should know what emotion or action you want to convey in your image. Let's take a look at some examples:

  • If you're trying to show happiness and joy, try using light colors and smiling faces.
  • If your image is supposed to be scary or threatening, use dark colors and angry faces.
  • If there's sadness in the scene that comes across as more of a hurtful feeling than anything else (for example, when someone has just broken up with their boyfriend), adding rain or tears will help communicate these emotions.

How can I enhance editing my photo?

Your first step when editing a photo is to identify the subject of your image. Are you trying to capture a moment? A person? An object? A place? The answer will help you determine how best to enhance and sharpen that subject.

If you're looking for an action shot, consider sharpening around the central figure's body parts as well as any secondary subjects that might be close by (but not too close). If it's an environmental portrait, focus on making sure all parts of the scene are well-defined—you want everything from the background down to smaller details like trees or buildings in sharp focus.

Answering these questions can help you create a great image that tells a story.

By now, you've probably got a good idea of what inspires your photography and how you want to be seen by other people. But have you ever thought about why? What is it about the things that inspire you that draws out your creativity?

The answers to these questions may help guide you towards creating an image that tells a story.

Now that you know these tips, you’re ready to start taking better photos! Always take time to analyze your image before snapping it. If you follow these rules and think carefully about the story you want to tell, then chances are your image will be much more successful than if not.

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Sep 16, 2022

Classes by:

Bob Cohen

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