Storytelling With Photography

The cover of "Bootcamp for Christian Writers 8: More Secrets to Getting Published -- Again and Again and Again! "

The cover of “Bootcamp for Christian Writers 8: More Secrets to Getting Published — Again and Again and Again! “

In this article I wrote for the Chester County Independent, I discuss using photography to tell stories:

While writers use words to inform, entertain, educate, and encourage readers; photographers depend on cameras. When these two mediums are combined, you create a winning combination. For writers, photos can sell your story. For speakers, photos connect with your audience. Both can make a difference in your success for either.

Which comes first, the article idea or the photo? Or going back to the age-old question: Which came first – the chicken or the egg? There is no one correct answer.

For me, sometimes I have the idea, write the article, then either make the photo or use one from my files. On another occasion, I will snap a digital photo and this image will turn my creative juices on. And immediately, it is that moment when I see the article outline develop in my mind. Words become sentences. Sentences become paragraphs. Paragraphs become an article, all because of a photo that inspired me to write.

The following quote applies to photos – just as it applies to words.:

“Any time a thought, sentence, or paragraph inspires you or opens up your thinking, you need to capture it, like a butterfly in a net, and later release it into your own field of consciousness.” – Steve Chandler

Old family photos are a treasure of information. What do you see when you view a photo? Do you notice joy or sadness in their expressions? What are the details, other than the people in the picture? How are they dressed? Old family pictures give us a glimpse into the life and personality of people. Use these in your family to write or tell your own story.

Four reasons to use photos in article writing or telling a story:


• Use a camera as a means of communication with the audience.
• Allow the audience or reader to “see” through your eyes.
• Introduce the non-reader to the world.
• Eliminate the language barrier.

Develop your photography skills:


• Avoid unclear images.
• Shoot the highest resolution or at least 300 dpi.
• Avoid off-center pictures.
• Avoid shadows from the photographer seen in the picture.
• If writing, let the photo support the text.
• Shoot in early morning or late afternoon sun for quality images.

Photography is a skill – and a skill can be learned. Have fun while using digital photography!

For more information, see my book, More Secrets to Getting Published – Again and Again and Again! on Amazon.com. It answers questions on shooting your own photos for writing or for speaking to an audience and is also available on Kindle.

Carolyn Tomlin is a Jackson, Tennessee-based author that has been writing and publishing since 1988. She has authored 19 books and more than 4,000 articles in magazines such as Entrepreneur, Kansas City Star, American Profile, Tennessee Home & Farm, Home Life, Mature Living, ParentLife and many others.  You can purchase her full-length works here.

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