How To Use Storytelling To Make More Powerful Photographs

One of the most common pieces of advice for photographers? "Tell a story! It’ll make your photographs better!” Stories can do that, and powerfully, but the advice seldom goes farther than that. What does “telling a story” photographically really mean? What are the elements of story? How do we translate that to the photograph? And, perhaps most importantly, why?

While it’s true that not every photograph has to tell a story, when used well storytelling can make your photographs - whether they’re landscapes, wildlife, portraits, sports, or weddings - unforgettable.

Stories have been, for thousands of years, one of the most direct paths to our imaginations and emotions. And it’s there in those two most human of places where our photographs must connect if they are to have power at all. Stories engage our imagination and emotion by placing us there, in the photograph, by asking questions we can’t tidily resolve, and by turning on our empathy. They make us care.

The Photographic Story, How To Use Storytelling To Make More Powerful Photographs is the new resource from David duChemin. This is eBook is an extended discussion, including creative exercises and case studies, about the elements of great storytelling and how you can incorporate them into your photographs. The 40 minute companion video* is a chance to sit with David in front of a small handful of images not discussed in the book, to explore further thoughts about storytelling.

Used right, the elements of story can do so much more than convey information; they can make your photographs unforgettable.

"I wanted my photographs to tell better stories, and David's book and accompanying video showed me the components to consider to give my photographs the voice and impact they deserve. Highly recommended.” ~ Steven Denfeld

"I love this book. David succinctly and practically unpacks an often overused and misunderstood term in photography: storytelling. The clever combination of video and the written word illustrate this topic in a refreshing and easily digested manner. It has changed how I look at my photography and adds an important dimension in my quest for making deeper and more intentional photographs. Well worth my time.” ~ Ian Enright

"The Photographic Story is a book that any photographer interested in telling a stronger story needs to read. Thought provoking, introspective, and comprehensive, it's made me think more deeply about story in relation to my photographs." ~ Kate Densmore

"This was a great book! The Photographic Story gave me easy to incorporate tools and strategies to make my future images speak more clearly and tell their stories more elegantly. I have long struggled with how to tell compelling stories with my photographs, and David’s book helped me take some needed next steps." ~ Erica Everhart

*The Companion Video is linked on the first page of the eBook itself and accessible immediately.