Benefits and Some Advantages of Using Photography and Video to Tell stories
Photography is the art of seeing, capturing, and conveying what you see.
It’s one of the easiest and most effective forms of communication, using images rather than words. Images speak more loudly and clearly than words. They are powerful ways to communicate complex emotions, and they can bring people together and help them understand each other.
Video can be an incredibly effective way to show emotions, too, especially if you use it to document incidents. For instance, if a family member has been physically or emotionally abused, you could film them telling their story, and then share this video with other people.
Photographs and videos are extremely useful when telling stories, but it’s important to be aware of the risks they can pose.
Some people find that using video or photography can put a strain on relationships. That’s because it’s easier to edit out embarrassing moments or parts of conversations that are difficult to watch. However, it can be really helpful in terms of capturing moments you’d otherwise forget. For example, if you are watching your child play in the park, you can get a series of photographs of him in various poses, showing how he moves through space, and you’ll get many different memories.
Your relationship with the subject is the most important factor in how successful your story will be. Be aware that the more you focus on the emotion you are trying to convey, the more likely you are to appear stiff and unnatural. So, think about what you are trying to say and keep your camera on your subject for as long as you need to.
You can also use video and photography to get feedback from your audience. It’s an easy way to involve children, and can really help you gauge whether they are listening. Ask them what they like and don’t like about what you are filming. It’s also a good way to gauge your audience’s reaction to your stories.
If you’re filming your child, for instance, you might ask them what they think of the way you look when you’re playing with them. You can also film your own reactions and see what it looks like. This is another way to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses as a storyteller.
Video cameras are becoming increasingly sophisticated and compact. This means that you can easily carry one with you, recording whenever and wherever you go. You can upload videos to sites such as YouTube and Facebook, and they’re often free. In fact, you can use video as a way of learning more about a topic. By searching for the phrase ‘video interview’, for example, you’ll find lots of examples of people asking questions to other people they know, or they might even be asking questions on behalf of their kids or grandkids.
In some ways, using video and photography can be more challenging than writing a regular story. If you’re writing, you’ve got time to think, edit, rework, and refine. But you only have seconds with video and photography. You have to get it right the first time.
You’ll also have to be more careful than when you’re writing a story. Video and photography aren’t always suitable to describe things in a straightforward way. For example, you can’t just show a face and then move on to the next scene. You have to be specific. You need to capture a particular moment in time.
Of course, it’s not always possible to capture the exact moment you want. If you’re showing your child playing in the park, for instance, you’ll have to choose a few shots of your child moving around in space, as opposed to just showing your face.
That’s why it’s important to work out exactly what you’re going to film before you begin, and to think carefully about the context of your video.
To do this, you can get feedback from your audience. Ask them to tell you what they’re interested in and what they want to know more about. This helps you decide where to start and how to keep them engaged.
You can also ask your audience to guess your story and see how they react to it.
Once you’ve filmed your story, you’ll need to decide what to do with it. You might want to share it with friends and family, or you might want to put it up on a website. You might even want to show it to a therapist or doctor.
Whatever you decide to do with it, don’t forget that it’s only a snapshot of a single event. It can’t provide a complete story. But it can be a powerful way to tell your own story.
How to Use them for Better Stories
Photography and video are two forms of visual communication that can be used to tell your story. It’s always useful to have a clear idea of what you want to communicate and why. For example, if you are telling a story about a family holiday, you might want to include photos of the beach, a fun activity on the boat, a sunset walk, and even a family dinner on board. If you are writing a narrative, you might want to include pictures of places where significant events have taken place. Or you might want to include photographs of people in different stages of life.
There are lots of ways to use photography and video to tell your story, including using them to show people doing something they love, to help you remember something, to illustrate the main points of your narrative, or to illustrate the most dramatic moments of your experience.
There are many different styles of photography and video that are suitable for different situations. For example, if you are writing about an experience with a difficult parent, there are particular features you might want to include to capture the emotion and complexity of this situation. You might want to include images of a child struggling with his or her feelings of disappointment, or the parents’ arguments that escalate. If you are writing about how your horrid parent made you feel as a teenager, you might include images of how you felt as a teenager.
If you are photographing a special event, such as a wedding or a birthday party, you may want to include some of the highlights, like the cake, dancing, and speeches. If you are telling a story of your experiences during a holiday, you might include a photo of the beach, or the family gathering after dinner.
Sometimes you might want to write a story about something you have experienced and then later, when you are thinking about it, you will find you want to recall it in photographs. At this point, it’s useful to make a note of what you want to include in your story so that you don’t forget to include it in your photographs. This might include:
• When the experience happened (day, month, year)
• How it made you feel
• Any memorable things that happened
• The weather, the atmosphere
• What you did (what you ate, who you met)
You can take as many photographs as you need to document your experiences.
It’s helpful if you know how to operate a camera and, if you want to learn more, there are lots of free courses on YouTube. If you have a smartphone, there are lots of apps that will help you to take pictures and record videos.
Many websites, magazines, and books are available to help you choose your photos and edit your images. It’s helpful to look at lots of examples of what you like, because you will develop your own style.
As with writing, it’s important to think carefully about what you are trying to achieve and why.