When we purposefully select an image to convey a specific message, it’s a lot of responsibility. It’s also an opportunity.
While experimenting with and researching visual storytelling, I found the obvious to be true: Images are powerful. They are catalysts for endless algorithms of meaning unique to each viewer.
Framing someone’s experience can lend deeper meaning or it can skew the truth. How do we – as storytellers – reveal worth without betraying the vulnerability of intimacy?
As an example, below is a video project I wrote, filmed, photographed and – gulp – starred in.
To become a better storyteller, I thought it only fair to turn the camera on myself. It’s brutal. But the process stripped me of any urge to be impatient or dismissive of others while the camera or the microphone is staring at them. Pressure is a factor, and its power must be expected and respected.
This is not to say that we shouldn’t ask tough questions or broach sensitive subjects. In fact, it is imperative to get to the heart of the matter. The ‘matter’, however, should always be the subject’s humanity, not ‘the story.’
Below is an example of this notion.
Though Margot is talking about bookstores, not herself, it is her presence and voice that tell the story of the bookstore aesthetic. Thanks, Margot!