Looking Back On and Continuing Forward With Visual Storytelling: A Reflection

With the internet constantly around and technology advancing every day, we are living in a Digital Age. The internet allows us the opportunity to be able to communicate in various ways with others on a digital platform. With that being said, Visual Storytelling aids us in telling a story by giving meaning to the photos that we share.

As described in David Griffin’s video about the aspects of photography and how it intertwines with the story we want to tell, Visual Storytelling gives us the platform to convey a message and connect with others through our photos. Additionally, my understanding of what Visual Storytelling was, was very slim and I did not even realize that I was using the methods of Visual Storytelling in photos that I post on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Throughout the week, I was given opportunities to practice and learn about Visual Storytelling through photography. I felt excited about this week because I love taking pictures of nature and trying out new angles that give my photos more meaning. Although, before this week, I was not very confident in my photography skills and I did not feel comfortable sharing my photos with anyone because I felt like they looked amateurish. With the being said, towards the end of the week when I learned a thing or two about what makes a good photo and through applying the skills I learned, I felt more satisfied with the pictures I was taking. One technique that I enjoyed gaining more experience with was light because you can catch it at all angles and it can affect whether your photo turns out successful or not. The Photo Reflection assignment was a turning point for me where I felt that I was able to manipulate light and highlight nature in a way that I thought I never could. I felt proud of the picture that I took of the dandelion and believe that it was one of my best photos throughout the week.

The challenges I experienced during this week were related to breaking out of my shell of just taking a landscape photo straight on and not experimenting with any of the tips that I learned. When the week began, I felt like I was taking dull photos that did not provide any vibrancy or life to give them a story. Although, as the week progressed and my photos continued to slowly improve, I realized that I had to take chances, accept if the image did not come out how I wanted, and try again in order to become a stronger visual storyteller.

I believe that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to taking photos, and I learned more about mine throughout the week. One of the weaknesses that I noticed during the week was not being in the moment, and after reading the photographer’s story behind the “Migrant Mother” photo, I learned that it is just as important to take in a moment as it is to capture one. Also, I realized that the photos I take and embed a story within, could connect with someone and inspire them to do something similar. With that being said, intertwining the skills of being able to be in the moment and continuing to tell my story in it became an important goal for me moving forward with visual storytelling. I had to learn to let go of the staged photographs and perfect angle, but to adapt and take my surroundings as they are to use to my advantage. Another weakness I endured was maintaining the story that I wanted to produce throughout my images, and I felt that I lost focus at times. I feel that I was paying too much attention to mastering the skills that I had learned rather than weaving them into my story which led to the downfall of some of my photos. Overall, I realized that to become a successful photographer and visual storyteller, I needed more experience in meshing the two worlds together to connect with people through my photos.

The strengths that I noticed developing during the week was my ability to control light and change my perspective to create a stronger photo. I pushed my boundaries when capturing different angles. Whether it was squatting in a meadow or becoming best friends with moss on a tree, I believe that I gathered experience in displaying a different atmosphere in my photos by altering my perspective. Additionally, experimenting with light and using the lighting around me to make my photos more innovative gave me insight on how I can use it to my advantage. Going forward, I am looking forward to taking more pictures where I continue to practice these skills because to become a better photographer and tell my story effectively, I need experience.

From reading and listening to professional photographers describe how photos connect people and the importance Visual Storytelling has on our society, I realized that the story I am trying to convey through my photos takes time. We as people take photos every single day, and most of the time we are doing it without putting any thought behind them. Although, to become a successful visual storyteller, I need to pause and take a moment to think about what effect this has on what I am trying to say. Overall, through the experience that I gained from the assignments that I completed throughout the week with photography, I too can become a visual storyteller and all it takes it practice and patience to tell my story.

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