Narrating with images: How to choose photos for a photographic storytelling project

In order to know how to choose photos for a storytelling project you must first understand the meaning of storytelling. As the word suggests, storytelling is precisely that: telling a story. If the medium used to do this is photography, then your story must be built on images.

So, how do you choose photos for a storytelling project?

First you need to figure out what story you want to tell, the subject and the focus of the narration. It’s also essential to know who you want to tell the story to, who the audience is and which language is better suited for it.

There is one main element that distinguishes a photographic storytelling project from individual photos for editorial use: continuity.
If you want to tell a story, there has to be a red thread linking all of the project’s images: you need to choose shots that are connected to each other.
Continuity can be achieved in several ways: you can choose shots that are simply a series of images of the same scene – as if they were frames of a film – or make alternating use of angles and reverse angles. You can also choose to create continuity by inserting a recurring element, such as a physical subject or an object. 
The important thing is that you always have clear in your mind what you want to share and what is at the heart of the narration, and try to convey all the sensations that make you want to tell that very story.

In a storytelling project, images can be accompanied by text and captions, and by music or ambient sound as well, and though focus is on the picture, it can also be enhanced and enriched by other media.

To work out how to choose photos for a storytelling project you need to rely mainly on your emotions and sensations, on what has strong impact on you first, and for this reason precisely is able to convey a story to the audience as well.

Now that you know how to choose photos for a storytelling project, all you have to do is figure out what story you want to tell and look through the Gallerist archive for the right images for you or launch a call to collaborate with authors and create your very own, personal image storytelling project.

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