Several years back, one of my sisters (CreativeKayt) insisted that I was a story photographer, as opposed to a landscape, portrait, etc., photographer. To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about it much. Since I was (and am) a hobbyist, I thought I was exploring all sorts of photographic venues. She agreed that I was exploring, but held fast to the idea that I explored from storyteller’s perspective. Which, in some ways, isn’t that surprising because I have studied story a great deal (my minor is in writing). Still, the idea of story photographer was a bit new to me and I wound up really liking it.
It’s true that I love how photographs tell stories—how they can explore themes, moods, relationships, and action visually. While I love how words and photographs together can create a more complete understanding of something than either might alone, there is something about each medium alone that I like, too. When there’s enough of a clue to create the story without stating everything, the image has a way of connecting with an audience in a way that is personally memorable and meaningful. What's kind of magical about that is that the medium makes it possible for the viewer to fill in the story’s remainder with their own experiences. It's deeply connecting in that way.
I’m grateful my sister recognized this quality in my photographs. Her comment sort of turned me into a more intentional student of visual story. And, it made me think that she might just be right. (She often is, but please don't tell her that I just admitted that .)