A Picture Tells a Story

My husband is a photographer and videographer (check out his work in photos throughout the website and his work in videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2YD-EKcGgZ14AFo7BobYHA). As he has explored the world through a camera lens, I have learned something very important. A picture tells a story. Some of you may be thinking, “Duh!” Please understand, though, that I truly did not understand this until being married to someone who tells stories through pictures and videos. I don’t naturally see the story in pictures; I don’t see pictures in my head and tell a story about them. I’m such an auditory person that if you want to communicate with me, you must use words or else I will not understand. I can’t put together Ikea furniture by myself because I can’t understand what the picture is telling me to do.

David is an auditory learner too, but he is much more able to express himself in visual mediums that I am. What being his wife has taught me is how to recognize that a story is being told when words aren’t being used.

When David composes a picture, he has a certain feeling, a certain concept he wants to communicate. He moves his subject(s) around, plays with the lighting, adds fog/mist, tweaks a lock of hair. I used to think this was just so something would look good. And to some extent, that is true. David’s pictures and videos look good; he does a great job composing them. But I know my husband. He doesn’t just care that something looks good. He wants it to communicate something. It needs to tell a story.

As the man behind the camera, David is careful to find out what he can about his subjects so that when he tells a story, he communicates what is important to them and about them. When he took pictures of me for the website, he didn’t just take random pictures. He took pictures that tell you something about me. They give you a feel for who I am and what I do. He could have made his lighting much brighter, encouraged me to wear vibrant clothes, given the pictures a much more whimsical feel. That may have told you a little about me; it may have communicated a side of me that does exist, but it would not have shown you who I predominantly am as a writer.

Marriage has taught me so much, but one of the things I am completely fascinated by is learning to better understand and therefore more fully appreciate visual story telling. I love art and photography and videos. That has long been true, but the more deeply I come to understand their significance in telling us about people, the more I enjoy them.