All the lives that we cannot live, we live them through stories. And no matter how fresh or distant they lay in our minds, each story we have come across has helped make us who we are. Some may resurface on a rainy evening as an elaborate philosophy, while some you may revisit for the sake of going back to a joyful moment.
I want you to remember how as kids, we loved to get lost in stories. The beastly friends from Panchtantra gave us life lessons wrapped inside fables. Scooby Doo taught us that monsters aren’t real but humans can sometimes be monstrous. Epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana gave our roots a meaning. And from films, we borrowed wings to fly. Stories cradled us through our joys, sorrows, fears, and anticipations. Like a friend on a deserted island or a ray of light at the end of a dark tunnel, they breathed a different life into us. A life we never knew was possible. And with them, we grew. And before we knew, they became vital to us.
Under the shade of storytelling flourishes the art of narrating a story through a series of pictures. Just like any other story, photo stories range from depicting a fictional tale to documenting reality, bringing out the truths of the world, or simply sharing an experience. With a language of their own, they transcend the barriers of verbal and written communication, seamlessly reaching out to everyone. They grab the audience by the hand, inviting them to be a part of the story. They compel you to step into the protagonist’s world, to join them in their journey of emotional highs and lows.
I believe that stories lie everywhere, eagerly waiting for someone to notice them. If you have the eye for recognizing a great story from a hundred ordinary ones and materializing it, you can create magic with your skill. If done right, pictorial stories have the power to make or break a man, become his voice or make him question things as they are. That is to say that just like words or actions, photo stories are a powerful art form- they live forever and not just as a figment of one’s imagination. Pictures have the power to transport the audience into the world of the story and its characters. They allow you to immerse into the tale both emotionally and intuitively, bringing it closer to reality. And this is a gift not entrusted to most forms of storytelling.
It is easier to exhibit your work to a grand audience with easily accessible and widely used social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and so on. Moreover, if it holds a powerful message or meaning, a photo story can find acceptance amongst various age groups, both young and old, since everyone tends to use the internet these days.
In contrast to a singular image, picture-based stories give photographs a home, a sense of belonging. A single picture may be powerful, but it only portrays a half-truth of any situation. Whereas, with a beginning, middle, and end, a series of images can serve their purpose without leaving the audience with unanswered questions. They offer viewers with a closure, a message, and an experience.
Additionally, photo stories are more convenient to create as compared to the most obvious form of visual storytelling, films. They require no dialogues, sound design, or moving images, the forming pillars of a motion picture. They are also quicker to produce and execute. Thus, a photographer with limited funding can find his artistic outlet through photo stories. Not only are they budget friendly but they also serve the purpose efficiently while providing the maker with immense satisfaction and validation, a must for aspiring artists in today’s time.
At the end of the day, stories are world’s impalpable currencies, hidden all over its surface. Look for them, find them, and then find a way to tell them. There are fewer truths simpler than this one- if you have a story in you that needs to be told, it must find its way out and it will.