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How to tell a story through photography

Giulio photographing subject.
  • Written byMariana Jaureguilorda Beltran
  • Published date 22 September 2021
Giulio photographing subject.

These days, with our phones constantly clutched to our hands - anyone can be a photographer. However, the key to a great photograph is understanding how to go from concept to execution.

Stories are integral to human culture and storytelling is timeless. In photography, visual storytelling is often called a “photo essay” and the practice “reportage photography”. It is a way for the photographer to tell a story through images. Understanding how to capture a moment, event or story in a candid and unobtrusive skill is an amazing skill to have for any creative.

Giulio Mazzarini established photographer and Reportage Photography tutor, gave us some easy tips to have in mind when telling stories through photography:

Giulio at work.

1# Keep it simple

Have a simple photographic kit - e.g. a good compact camera, a light mirrorless camera and a good lens or just a good camera phone - and take it everywhere. Remember the best camera is the one you have when you need it.

2# You need a subject

At Central Saint Martins, we used to have a sign saying "You don't need a camera, you need an idea". You can give yourself a simple brief, for example, shadows in Venice. But choose a subject. To choose it, find inspiration through your passions. For example, if you love cycling, document the cyclists' world.

3# Composition is key

Photography is not just an art, it is also a science: geometry, design, therefore layouts and lines. See where your subject is, and carefully compose the image. Take your time. Balance your main subject with other elements in the image.

But above all......HAVE FUN!

If you are interested in learning more about reportage photography, check out our upcoming webinar led by Giulio Mazzarini: Reportage Photography for Creatives Webinar. Don't forget to check out our upcoming short courses to see what course might be a good fit for you.

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