That's just a snapshot.

Started Nov 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
Zindanfel Veteran Member • Posts: 9,198
Re: That's just a snapshot.

brianj wrote:

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, but only if it tells a story, otherwise its worth no words.

I enjoy taking photos of the things I see around me, and sometimes show them on a forum, and as the forums have almost wound down to the point where there is no interest at all, I thought I would show a few images I took yesterday in the Samples and gallery forum, although I suspect that no one looks there anyway.

But one person took the time to give me genuine feedback which is very difficult to get, and it was that 'The images don't tell any story', and a few other things that you can read at the link. I want to thank the person because I tend to agree with the feedback, and it has got me thinking.

A few questions arise out of the feedback, I will try to do a brain dump here and see what others think:

Most of my picture taking when I am not on a trip or tour is purely for the sake of practice and most images would never be seen again.

I am seldom or never in a situation where a real jounalistic story unfolds, like the Prime Minister falling over, so there is no real story to tell.

Should I go to the trouble of putting people into all my images so I can manufacture an obvious story?

Should I not show any more images here because I don't have the opportunity to capture a good story?

Does everyone only see images with an apparent story as being of value?

Is it ok to just take photos just for the joy of using your camera, because that's what I do.

Should I not show anyone the images I take for fun because I know they tell no real story?

Please respond with your thoughts on this whole issue.


Not every picture has to tell a story, but pictures can be a springboard to some story for the perceptive/imaginative viewer.  As with any art, often the recipient brings as much or more to "meaning" than the artist's intent.

I do think it is useful to have in mind a photo objective, e.g., "I want to show xyz aspect of this object/scene."  Still, in my own hobbyist, snapshooting adventures many cherished photos have been serendiptious happenstance.

If you work for a media editor, your pictures should tell a story; otherwise, I think it's more than sufficient that your pictures inspire further thought and/or imagination, and in as few as one viewer.

Keep shooting and posting.

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