Zenfolio | Airan Anzaloni Photography | How to tell great stories through photography !!! The Photo Essay

How to tell great stories through photography !!! The Photo Essay

December 04, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Telling a story with pictures. How awesome is that!?

Being able to express the story of a place or an event in time through photography. What is more, being able to show different cultures and lifestyles by capturing that special moment.

One of the things I love the most about still photography is that the images we capture today are like a sustainable footprint that freezes an unique moment in time. This type of photos are a vivid representation of how the world looks today, they form part of our legacy, good or bad. It's amazing to think that future generations will  be able to look back and appreciate how much or little the world has changed, and hopefully be inspired to preserve mother nature. One of my main drivers as a photographer and environmentalist is to work very hard to show the world as it is today. I am looking forward to create awareness about the importance of preserving wildlife and nature by inspiring others through photography stories and essays, inviting people to enjoy natural habitats in a sustainable way.  

So, shall we take our photography beyond the shot?

During the last few days I have been working on my first photo essay. A super exciting project that took me days to bring to life and which I am now happy to share with you. Do you know the difference between Photo Essay and Photo Story? This is one of the many great things I learnt whilst doing The National Geographic Master Photographers online course so if you are not familiar with the concept, read through. A Photo Story has a clear beginning, middle and end, it could be captured over a short period of time, during the weekend for instance. While a Photo Essay is a collection of photos focused on a specific theme. The story line might be not obvious combining storytelling with fine art and is recommended that when you choose your next photo essay a subject you really care about is selected - you might be working with it for a long time :)

I personally love to photograph the ocean and marine life, its majestic colours and harmony flowing by in front of my lenses. You might like to capture the ocean as well or maybe your favourite subject is landscapes, people, culture, travel, wildlife and many more. The great thing of all this is that we are all able to tell a story with our photos creating our own 21st century archive of images and storytelling.

Selecting the photos I used for my essay wasn't easy but going back and looking at all my work was a very energising experience. I started with 50 photos that were already filtered from among 500 and for the purpose of this essay I just needed it to be five.

It was so difficult to let go of that favourite photo, but I learnt that in order to improve our photography, one needs to be its toughest critic in order to bring and create really special images and stories that last for generations capturing people hearts by inviting them to come back to your work over and over again.

As you can see on the photos in the slide show, I used for this essay a photo with a beautiful sunrise and surfers waiting for the waves as the opening shot and a sunset photo full of colours falling behind the town to close the story.

Another awesome thing I learnt from NatGeo is to add portrait orientation to our photo essay so we have an interesting visual variety in the story. I mostly create images in landscape orientation but the two portrait photos selected for this essay aims to bring a sense of place and time complementing the story very well.

 Preparing and learning about photo essays and its unique technique has been a great, fun and fulfilling experience. I am aware that there is still a lot to learn and master on this subject. My curiosity and passion is keeping me awake and excited thinking about my next subject; where will be, when, how, why, what...

I am looking forward to share with you the essay once it is reviewed and to bring more content and photos to share with the community.

Thank you for stopping by this week guys, I am really looking forward to your comments and feedback. I am always open to improve and learn more about this fascinating subject. 

Have a great week and all the best,







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