Using Photography to Tell Your Story: Introduction

Using Photography to Tell Your Story: Introduction

I have so many people who ask me on a weekly basis photography related questions so I figured, what the heck, may as well blog about it!

I figured I will break this up into parts so we can go into detail the different ways in which I use photography to tell my story. We will begin with part 1… a sort of intro to photography and why it is important. By the time this series is done, I will have covered general photography techniques (aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, metering), gear and shared with you the gear I use, advanced tips, tricks, and techniques, alternatives to digital photography (film is NOT dead), photography on handheld devices like your phone, and post production and editing. I hope you are ready to intimately get to know your cameras! 

Photography is one of the longest standing and largest growing hobbies in the world. It was first invented in the 1830s and today, continues to grow into a multi-billion dollar industry. So what is it about photography? Why are people drawn to photographs? Why is using photographs an effective way to tell your own story?

Photographs Tell Us What Is Important

It has been proven time and time again in studies, photographs are the number one possession people grab from their home. People grab photographs over jewelry, over money, and over any other valuable possession. That impulse to save recorded memories shows the important role photography plays in our lives. Photography gives us a means to record what matters to us. Through photography, we preserve important events and people: birthdays, births, marriages, Holidays, first steps. Our photos become our own personal story or a timeline of our life. We can share those photographs with other people which create a narrative of our own individual lives.

View More: http://shannonrosan.pass.us/jennymark

my own wedding photo

Photographs Are Part of Our Legacy

With one click of the shutter, a moment in time is forever captured. Today, digital cameras dull the powerful meaning of capturing that moment in time as we can take literally thousands of photos in a single shoot. But regardless of how many photos you take, you are still capturing those moments. Years from now, we have no idea who will end up with our photographs in their hands… Maybe they will be discovered in an attic or basement when your home is sold or maybe years from now one of your photos will end up on the front page of the newspaper. Who knows? Maybe you will be the next Vivian Maier. Photos freeze moments in time in our life. Small moments, large moments, emotions captured, where we have been, who we’ve been with.. All of these things are a piece of our legacy here on Earth. And once we are gone, it is all that is left of our visual presence here.

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my great grandpa Urich who I never knew but have his legacy in photos

Photographs Allow Us To Share & Communicate

Photographs may be part of our legacy, but they are so much more than a simple record of existence. It’s a form of communication, a way to express ourselves visually. Photography shows our desire to share what we find beautiful and interesting or what we value or feel is important in life. By looking through someone’s photographs or art in their home, you can get an insight into who they are. Photographs can communicate with complete strangers things about us personally. They can communicate what we like to do, what our passions are, our livelihoods, who we love.

if you follow my photography, you will find I LOVE macro photography.. especially flowers

if you follow my photography, you will find I LOVE macro photography.. especially flowers

Photography Has the Power to Move Us

Building trust and relationships on social media is, for me at least, about personal connections. What better way to build a personal connection than through photos!? We all love to look at photos. Photos grab your attention on a page, photos convey emotion and pull at our heart strings which is why it is effective for organizations like Animal Rights groups. Much like Animal Rights organizations use photos to promote their own agendas, we should too! Use that personal connection. Make your story personal, share your photos, build community through photos.

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Angelo Merendino photographs his wife’s battle with cancer.. Powerful.

Photography Sparks Conversation & Dialogue

Photos can bring conversation to your page or blog. Sharing images people are unfamiliar with or have never seen before lead people to ask questions. What is going on here? What is this? Photographs can open dialogue to tell a story, share an experience, or educate through explaining what is going on. For people who are visual learners, photographs are imperative. You can strengthen your educational posts by using photos. Think of a recipe, I LOVE recipes that give a “final shot” and even better when it shows step by step.. You can follow along and make sure yours looks the same as the authors.

Rohrich Farms, Grain Drill, Zeeland, North Dakota, Wheat Plant

Our Drill we use to plant crops on the farm

What other ways is photography important in our lives? How else do you use photography in telling your story?

To kick off this series, I will be hosting a LIVE online Photography Q&A tomorrow evening!

Please join me on Friday, January 10th at 8:30 PM CST 

Stay Tuned Next Week: The Basics of Photography

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13 Comments

  1. January 9, 2014 / 5:47 pm

    I like what you are doing with the photography. I am hoping to join in tomorrow night. I live on the Kansas prairie (farm and ranch wife) and love to try to get pics of the landscape.

    • January 10, 2014 / 4:49 pm

      Thank you! I hope to see you tomorrow night! I am excited to meet so many new faces as well as talk photography!

  2. Sarah Dashiell
    January 10, 2014 / 4:41 pm

    Great post! I am excited to read you future posts about film! I took photography in high school and learned how to roll film, develop and make prints. It was so awesome and I miss doing that. Unfortunately I went to a small school and they got rid of the dark room when digital first came out. The equipment isn’t too expensive so hopefully I can build a little dark room someday.

    Its been a long time since I’ve used film so any tips you have will be appreciated! I love learning new things about photography!!

    • January 10, 2014 / 4:51 pm

      I have fallen in LOVE with film. Sadly, I never took photography in high school so I was never exposed to film or developing. But I have recently found my love affair with film. There is simply nothing that compares to it. It’s imperfect and that’s what I love about it in the world of digital today. I don’t develop my own prints, I actually have to send them out to be developed and then they send me the scans. It’s pretty slick in that I don’t have to spend time scanning a bunch of images so I am fortunate for that. I will go over what film cameras I use and most of them are absolutely affordable when you look at the high price of digital. The only thing is that the film can be quite expensive depending on what kind you are purchasing. 🙂

  3. March 3, 2014 / 5:51 am

    FYI abut your great grandpa Urich.
    He was a Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy. Enlisted personal rank is E-1 (the lowest) to E-9 (the highest). A Chief Petty Office is an E-7.
    Prior to 1958, Chief Petty Officer was the highest enlisted rate in the Navy.
    http://www.public.navy.mil/BUPERS-NPC/SUPPORT/UNIFORMS/UNIFORMREGULATIONS/CHAPTER4/Pages/4211.aspx

    I can’t see the symbol in his rating badge on his jacket, as that tells you what his “job” was. The 5 gold hash marks on his lower sleeve denotes he had 20 years of Good Conduct Service, each gold hash marks denotes 4 years of good conduct.
    http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/uniforms/uniformregulations/chapter4/Pages/4231.aspx

    The Chief Petty Officers, Senior Chief Petty officers and Master Chief Petty Officers of the Navy are the back bone of the Navy.

    http://www.goatlocker.org/resources/cpo/anecdotes/augustcpo.htm

    Greg Hoyer
    ATCS (AW) USN RET

    • March 3, 2014 / 9:37 pm

      Wow! Greg, this is awesome!! Thank you soooo much for that information!

    • March 3, 2014 / 9:39 pm

      WOW! Greg! Thank you SO much for this information! That is super awesome!