Why tell the story behind the photograph?


Photos are amazing things when you think about them. They capture the briefest of moments and hold it still for an eternity. And yet, in our world of social media with thousands upon thousands of photos being uploaded every day, we can sometimes forget why we take photographs in the first place.

They allow us to share and communicate, and perhaps most importantly of all, they provide us with the opportunity to show what’s important to each of us.


Adam Krowitz, "Freshwater Beach, Australia"

"It’s all about finding the calm in the chaos… Lately I’ve been trying to make this lesson stick whilst we live in such a chaotic interconnected and overstimulating world. It’s incredibly hard to do though…especially when everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Being calm in the face of it all is such a gift if you can learn how to do it"

However, a picture on its own can sometimes only tell us half the story. The rest has to come from the photographer. Taken out of context, the importance of the photo could be lost so it’s important for the person behind the lens to say how the photo came about, what it means to them and describe what is actually being seen.

Think about some of the most iconic images in our history. If we didn’t know the back-story to what was going on, then they might not have had the impact that they did. If we didn’t know about the social setting in which the photo was taken, would they’ve changed the world?


"Afghan Girl". Image source: Sputnik News

To this end, we thought that we would share some ‘what’ questions for you to answer to help with your photo storytelling.

  • What emotions do you feel about the photo?

  • What are your memories of when the photo was taken?

  • What inspired you to capture the shot?

  • What was taking place outside of the lens?

  • What journey did you go on to get the photo?

  • What were your other senses feeling when you took the photo?

Sometimes, photographers do want to leave open-ended questions for the audience to make their own interpretation of what the photo means, but even in those instances, the photographer will still have set out with a clear purpose. They’ll still wish to achieve something with the image and it’s that purpose that forms the story behind the photograph.


Matt Barrett, "Evandale"

Storytelling is ingrained within our culture and photographers play a large part in keeping that tradition going.

Excio makes storytelling part of the photo sharing experience by providing photographers with the space to describe the purpose and emotions of the photograph before linking your audience through to further information.

#inspirarion #story #images #communicate #visual #photographer

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