Thursday, November 17, 2011

Natural Ability of Storytelling

Image by Gracieli Lisboa
Earlier this week, I had a conversation with one of my undergraduate students about media production (a little background: he worked in LA in film production). He said something I thought was really profound: that we all have a natural ability for visual storytelling. He said that we are capable of seeing a group of images and telling that they make a story. That we can all see moments and the natural story it creates. While I agree with that I think it's easier said than done. I can see a moment and see a story revolve around it but it can be hard to take tools, technological or not, and bring that moment to life or capture it in a photograph, an animation or video. I think that's part of the reason I don't delve into photography as much as I would like. Seeing a story and creating a story, breathing life into an idea and making it something that people can connect to, are two skills that I'm finding myself trying to merge because you can't have one without the other.


  1. I know that I may be able to see a story in objects, but taking a picture that convey that idea is a totally different matter. Storytelling is so much a part of every culture that we often don't even notice it. As I teach ESL students, it is interesting to me that so many of them struggle in school because the kinds of stories, book report, lab assignments and ever structured narratives, that we assign them. They are setup in a way in which they have not expressed themselves before and the don't know how to do it. It is kinda like me asking a normal person to write a love story in computer code. A programmer may be able to do that, but the average person could only follow a few instruction to make some sort of story. It would the creativity and depth of expression that a programmer could give it. It makes me think that it is not only the story that is important, but also how it is told.

  2. "we all have a natural ability for visual storytelling" I think that is interesting. I think that is a statement to tell someone who is not good at "writing stories" but for someone who is good with digital media (photo, art)