I have learned something new; I am a storyteller.
It took someone telling me that I tell a story through my photos for me to believe it. I had been tasked with taking three separate photos of three moms, all having STEAM careers and a family of their own in common. The vision was simple: photograph these moms in their element, line of work, and living out their careers. I imagined a clip-board in their hands, a clean-cut business blazer or bottun-up shirt, and a stoic expression on their faces.
This is not at all how the photos turned out. Due to scheduling conflicts, it worked out better for me to come to each woman's home and photograph them with their families. They were in an environment that they were comfortable in, which made for perfect photos. The editor who I was shooting these pictures for told me that she loved them, and that they told a story.
And I loved the photos. Being homeschooled, I'm very familiar with home life and family time. I loved seeing these families interact, and I loved talking with them and learning more about them.
I knew that I could only submit one photo for each mom, so as I entered each of the woman's homes, I assessed the environment, and then planned my shot.
I used to think that storytelling could only be done through movies, tv shows, and books. If you were to ask me to tell you a story, my mind would have gone blank. "I don't know any stories. Nothing interesting happens to me." yada yada yada.
I stumble over my words. I take pauses to collect my thoughts while curious eyes stare at me. I am soft spoken. How could I tell someone a story, and effectively communicate feelings, events, and imagination? I had always thought that photography was simply the type on the paper, the ink imprinted by the stamp.
But I hadn't realized that warm sun shining on a little girl and her pony, a mom and her baby girl eating breakfast at the table, and the accomplishment of finishing the puzzle game, all told stories. Every time I took a photo of a smiling face, a landscape from behind the windshield, my keys sitting on my nightstand, or even a self portrait, I was telling a story. I was telling the world how I saw itself. I was showcasing the people I loved, or met for the first time. I was collecting the my memories, like words typed out on a typewriter to make one big story.