Photography: The Ultimate Storytelling Tool

Robert Macaisa, photographer for Emmaus: The Nature of the Way discusses the power photography has as a storytelling technique.

Robert Macaisa, photographer for Emmaus: The Nature of the Way discusses the power photography has as a storytelling technique.

Photography. According to handy dandy Google, the word’s prefix, “photo,” refers to light and the suffix “graphy” sometimes means writing. Writing with light. It’s an interesting definition when you think about the art form.

My name is Robert Macaisa and I’m the photographer for Emmaus: The Nature of the Way.

Normally when I get asked by my clients to help them with photography, I usually end up asking the same question: What are you trying to say with the work we’re putting together? That’s the million dollar question! It’s the biggest challenge that gets me going for every shoot I do, every project I help out on.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. As photographers, I think that becomes our biggest challenge. We have to craft the photos that don’t just look good. We have to take photos that tell the thousand most profound words that bring emotion to the viewer.

In a sense, a major key for photography is storytelling. Whether it’s telling the right story to send a message, or to tell the story of the subject to the viewer, it has to be concise, it has to be punctuated correctly, it has to invoke feeling.

As photographers, we use art to tell our stories too. We pour a bit of ourselves into the work we make. Our influences, our experiences, our relationships — they’re all there somewhere within the photo.

That’s why every photo is different: every story and storyteller is different and unique.

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Chris Yates