Have you ever seen a photo essay? Or flipped through the pages of a travel magazine and drooled over the pages? Or even looked through a beautiful wedding album? These are all examples of a photographer telling a story through pictures. Like with any good story, there are hills and valleys, pauses and exclamations. There's variety, story arc and plot. To visually describe an event, place or situation, here are some tips to keep in mind. They all involve moving your feet!
1) Get REALLY close. Get close to your subject, in their face, up in their grill! Finding a finger tucking a piece of hair back can evoke emotion, time and place. It's so simple, but so lovely.
2) Shoot at a midway point
. Get to a 'medium shot.' by including someone's full body and a little bit of the scene, a full table of food, or a full shelving unit tucked to the gills with product.
3) Get FAR away. Get farther than you think is necessary. Shoot your site, person or subject in context with tons of sky or background. This is the beginning of the movie when a camera pans down to showcase a place, person or thing with tons of negative space around it.
4) Unglue your feet from the ground. Get uncomfortable, get really low, shoot from your tippy toes or from a ladder. Wiggle into the corner of rooms for unique angles. If you get stuck or are using time to think, just remember to move around the space and keep questioning, "could this work?" and trying new angles. Go down the beautiful road, go the extra mile, get it done!
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)