5 Ways to Reinforce Your Storytelling | by Annick Paradis

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What is the difference between a snapshot and a storytelling image? How can you compose stories that last a lifetime? There are multiple manners to turn a fleeting moment into a timeless one. Here are my 5 ways to help you reinforce your storytelling.

1- Have a clear idea in mind
This is the key to be able to create a storytelling image instead of a snapshot. Once you know what the title of your image would be or what appeals to you while you are looking at a scene, you are on the right path for shooting with intention.

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2- Choose the perfect point of view
Your next step is to decide from which point of view you want to tell your story. From the point of view of a narrator? Of a voyeur? Of the main subject? Of the opponent? It’s like when you were at school and you had to write a text. After you set your plan, you needed to decide who would tell the story.

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3- Pick the right perspective
The difference between perspective and point of view is not always obvious at first. Perspective is when you decide if you will shoot your story from above, from below, from behind, or at eye level, to name a few. It goes hand to hand with the point of view you have picked.

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4- Include the necessary visual clues in your composition
By doing so, you will help the viewer to feel connected to your story. What are the elements that he needs to understand your message? Can you simply fill the frame to showcase a bold emotion? Do you need to back up a bit to include some objects in the foreground or in the background? Maybe you only need to feature negative space to emphasize an atmosphere?

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5- Connect with your audience by being patient
Now that you have a plan, it’s time to encapsulate your story into a frame! Devil is in the details. Know what you need to connect with your audience. For example, while shooting, wait for the gaze of your subject to look in the right direction, wait for gestures that will help tell the story and wait for the perfect expression of your subject. Also, always make sure your subject is well isolated by doing micro-adjustments to your composition. Yes, sometimes all those elements don’t come together at the same time. Just accept it. But when they happen at the same time and you fire your shutter at this moment, you just have composed a story that will last a lifetime!

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