THE IMPORTANCE OF NARRATIVE AND PERSONAL CONNECTION IN PHOTOGRAPHY

Two interesting points have emerged from articles I have read this morning that I will quickly make a note of here for future reference and contemplation.

The first entitled ‘Why is narrative such a difficult concept for young photographers to master?’  was written by Grant Scott and published on the United Nations of Photography website.  In it he suggests that narrative is of equal importance in photography as it is in writing and it explores some of the possible reasons why narrative is a difficult concept to understand and achieve in the art of photography particularly for new practitioners.  The article suggests that the move towards the digital format, where images are predominantly viewed by the artist in isolation on a screen rather than as printed entities, may be responsible to a large extent for this difficulty.   With the digital format, the facility of spreading the printed images out for viewing en masse and physically moving them around in relation to each other to explore developments and relationships is lost.  

A link to the article is given below.

https://medium.com/witness/why-is-narrative-such-a-difficult-concept-for-young-photographers-to-master-ccef10fb1064#.h5etlzha0

The second article written by Guy Mankowski appeared in the WeAreOCA Creative Writing forum today and whilst it is written largely from the standpoint of the art of writing it could equally apply to the art of photography.  Entitled ‘How can writing connect with people and affect their lives?’ the main thrust of the article is that art of whatever discipline, if it is to be influential and meaningful on the larger stage, needs to connect to its audience and the best way it can do that is to be personally relevant in its subject and approach, something that the audience / consumer can personally relate to.   Again it is the narrative approach that is the principal vehicle for expression and engagement.  

https://weareoca.com/creative-writing/can-writing-connect-people-effect-lives/

Reading these two articles in quick succession led me to thinking how the ideas they contained might help me to achieve what I am seeking through the my photography, i.e.  to engage, influence and connect with people on themes of importance to me.  My immediate thoughts are that I need to recognise what is important to people in their lives and why, and then to use that as the basis of my photographic approach.  A sensitive and considerate approach that speaks to the viewer is likely to have a deeper and longer lasting impact than something that alienates them.  I will return to these thoughts and where they lead again in time.  

—–   o0o   —–

View story at Medium.com

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