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.

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Bowtie Wearer With Bad Knees I spent my early years in Massachusetts in a little town called Easton. I went to Harvard, served in the Navy as Operations Officer on and LST, founded a construction company and served in the state Legislature as Assistant Minority Leader. However my life really began when I moved to Maine and opened an art gallery. I've been around the fine arts in the commercial art business for over 25 years now and loved (almost) every minute of it. I look at every day is a gift, except when it's very cold outside or I have to go to the dentist.

6 thoughts 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.

      1. 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.

  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.

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