Sometimes a photograph has many things about it that make it precious. It could be the setting, it could be something in the frame, it could be the reaction on a face to something, or even something lurking in the background of a shot. These are the images that tell a story:
I took this picture at a wedding a couple of weeks ago. It is a portrait of the bride and groom but as I was taking it I noticed one of the bridesmaids off to the side. I included her as she had come all the way from South Africa to see her best friend get married and was a special part of the day. It seemed right to include her watching, even though she is not obvious in the shot. She looks so happy and pleased for her friend.
This is such a sad story. I was 11 and my Dad worked away during the week, Friday night was always exciting because he was coming home. One weekend he bought me this Teddy and oh, how I loved it. Fast forward a couple of months and 11 year old Vix takes her prized Teddy Bear with her on an exchange trip, with the school, to France. The family were lovely but, of course, the language barrier was hard work and I was a little homesick. After a day trip to Mont St Michel, the host mum met me at the front door with a pained expression on her face and handed me a mauled and mutilated Huggy Bear.
I was DEVASTATED. Their family dog, a Great Dane no less, had found its way into my room and, well, you know the rest. The family did try to make it up to me by buying me a crappy green Cabbage Patch Doll complete with a lucky 4 leaf clover. Whatever.
Taken last summer, I love this picture of the kids and dog. The dog was still a puppy here, and this had been a fun afternoon where the kids had run wild on Wimbledon Common, here they were sitting talking to one another about how there game was going to be next – it was a moment, and a part of the story of their energetic afternoon. Telling the story to me can be a moment that you just pause.
Storytelling is what my job is all about. Wedding day stories, family stories or even the story of a piece of food from farm to plate. Yesterday was no exception as I photographed a wedding elopement. A lovely couple and their wee daughter set sail from Elgol on the Isle of Skye to marry among the Cuillin mountains. An adventurous and romantic story to beat them all! However, their story is a surprise to their friends and families until tomorrow so for now I have to tell their story anonymously. This shot taken on the boat on the way to the wedding ceremony captures the story in one!
I recently attended an incredible food photography workshop where we learnt all about storytelling through styling food. Previously, I’d thought it was all about capturing the perfection of a dish. Now I’ve learnt it’s all about showing the ingredients, the mess and the enjoyment. That’s where the real story is. The squeezed lemon, the messy spoon and the scattered salt show you what’s going to happen to the asparagus. And yes, I ate it.
This picture is from a trip to China which was the first time I have visited and a very special trip for me. Its a well known scene, as The Great Wall of China is an iconic landmark which has been photographed by so many it was difficult to take a “new” image. I selected this one, as it gave some idea of the scale of the wall whilst showing the beautiful landscapes around which are sometimes overlooked or not appreciated as much as the wall itself. Telling stories with photographs is something I love to do. Everyone can bring their own interpretation of what they “see” when they take a photograph with a camera or phone. It’s one of the simple pleasures to record your travels and share with others.