Storytelling 101 (I flunked)


Taking a photographic image is easy. Telling a story with it is the hard part. This photo is of the staircase in the Harvard Coop bookstore in Harvard Square. I was drawn to it because of the myriad elements it contains. Books, the graceful metal staircase, people and posters all jostle each other for prominence. But that is exactly its problem. It has no coherent story line. It’s a cacophony I couldn’t tame with a story line I couldn’t find.

6 Comments on “Storytelling 101 (I flunked)

  1. Hello John, I found your blog via my old friend Steve Willard. Anyway, though this photo may not have a story, I do like the structure. Two stairs, two people entering stair above, two entering stair below. JFK anchoring the center. Even a book on light.

      • I encouraged Steve for you to two to take a candid shot or two of each other but I don’t know if he’ll see the comment while he’s in Boston or not.

      • He did and we did. Thanks for the idea. The next post is for you.

  2. I think this might be one of those images that depend on others to provide their own stories. When I look at it I’m sure my takeaway is not the same as yours. Rod sang it, “every picture tells a story”, but not everyone’s is the same.

    • You’re absolutely correct Steve. I just couldn’t make the image tell a story that I liked.

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