August 25, 2015

HOW TO TELL A STORY IN YOUR STYLE POSTS

The last few style shoots Tyler and I have done I have thought a lot about story. I've been thinking a lot about what story I want to tell through the images we capture. Style shoots are specific, so the story has to be specific as well. In this shoot I knew what story I wanted to tell. I knew I wanted to tell a story of having you over, of inviting you in and sharing our space with you.

For todays shoot I only had a vague  idea of the story I wanted too tell. I decided on my story on a whim. I knew I wanted it to be ethereal, but I also knew capturing the light I wanted would be tough too. Our house sits under a canape of trees and we are also in a bit of a valley, so we don't really get the perfect sun set light.

Initially I imaged a girl making her way through the woods, slow and peaceful. I then saw her enter into an open space, as if she found a secret place. That's as far as a got with my story but it was short, sweet, and to the point. With only a few pieces of my story in place we started shooting. It ended up being a little more difficult then I thought, but for good reason, I hadn't really thought about my idea. I also think there is a lot to think about when your telling a story and thinking about how you want to photograph an outfit.
... A FEW MISTAKES I MADE ... AND HOW YOU CAN DO IT DIFFERENT

THINK ABOUT THE STORY  YOU WANT TO TELL
I hadn't decided on a story until a minute before we started shooting and I hadn't planned how I wanted my images to look. We simply just starting shooting. This method is totally okay, but I didn't plan at all. I hadn't told Tyler what I was thinking until I was standing right in front of the camera. INSTEAD, think about your idea ahead of time and plan out your story. Think about the story you want to tell and the image you want to capture. Sketch out a few ideas about how you want each image to look and how those images make your story.

THINK ABOUT HOW YOUR LOCATION ADDS TO YOUR STORY
We do a lot of shoots at our house and this story could have worked if I was more prepared. However, if I would have thought more about location and what kind of story I wanted to tell, Tyler and I could  have brainstormed where we could tell the story and how it would make things better.
THINK ABOUT HOW YOUR OUTFIT ADDS TO YOUR STORY
When I decided on the story for these photos I was keeping my outfit in mind. I liked the idea of a walk through the woods in a delicate summer dress. That is how I saw the story play out in my head. Any outfit can work as long as it fits into your story. But my story would have played out differently in my head if I was in jeans and boots. If that was the case I may have been carry camp gear or hiking gear. 

THINK THROUGH THE ELEMENTS OF STORY TELLING IN PHOTOGRAPHY
In short you want to think about the mood, the idea, the emotion, and the message. I'll dive more into these elements in another post, but when we got started with our photo shoot, these are things I left out as well. I considered the mood, and the emotion of my story. I didn't consider what message I wanted to convey or what idea I wanted to leave you with. In some degree I was probably thinking about these things, but I hadn't thought them through in my photographs. 
Going through this process is one of my favorite things about photography. It's a process, it's a learning experience and it's something we can go through together. We can share what we're learning and ways we are trying to make ourselves better.

What have you been learning lately? What are some ways you have tried story telling in your photography?

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