I recently followed a link in my news feed that led me to a flickr blog that had a spotlight post about Ryan Brenizer. He is a New York photographer, named one of the Top-10 wedding photographers in the world by American Photo and Rangefinder magazines. The post showcased some of his work, which is spectacular.
Really, go take a look.
What I found interesting from the interview was how he took his passion for photography and a love of storytelling and applied them to wedding photography.
“I’ve always had a deep understanding of what storytelling means to me—of creating that feeling through a photo, or through a series of photos that, not only can you look at them and appreciate them, but that you can almost hear them.”
When I first started writing as a kid, I often used to get my inspiration from pictures. There was a line of greeting cards that had very pretty soft-focus, old-fashioned romantic images and I made up any number of poems and stories about the people portrayed on them. To me, the pictures really were worth a thousand words (more or less).
As writers, we tell our stories with words on the page, but there are many other creative ways to tell stories through different art forms. I use quilting, for example, to tell family stories using remnants of clothing and sometimes photos or other keepsakes. My favourite quilt is a simple block quilt I made when my son went off to college. It’s made up left-over blocks of fabric from his baby bedding and clothing, all backed with an old sheet from his teenage years that was faded and soft from years of washing. Completed, the quilt holds the story of him growing up for me – a story that I can enjoy each time I use it.
When it comes to creative pursuits, Ryan had some good advice in his post. It was aimed at photographers but I think it is just as applicable to writers and worth repeating here.
“The short answer is, don’t stop. I really think that the most important thing and the thing that separates people in general who become successful, and especially photographers, is don’t stop. From very early on, be a little selfish. The really important thing is don’t burn out. Do whatever it takes to create the conditions so that you won’t have to stop. Pay attention to what you procrastinate on, pay attention to the things that are keeping you up at night, that are taking the joy out of it, and do whatever you can do to keep the joy in it. Not only does this make your life better, but it will make you a better photographer in the long run.”
So, do you have other creative ways of telling stories besides writing (or other story-telling mediums you enjoy besides books)?