Commissioned by a newspaper, tell a story in five to seven images.
Subject is open, although ideally something local. The images must demonstrate a definite story timeline. Focus must be narrow.
What matters in this exercise is to make sure each photograph gets to the essence of what the narrative wants to express.
Although the aim of this exercise was undoubtedly to give experience of working to a newspaper type brief, for me it was much more than that.
I am aware that I need to develop my visual storytelling skills, and consequently I saw this exercise as an opportunity to do just that.
This is a story played out on two levels.
The subject of the story is a 38-year old female suffering from anxiety, depression and fibromyalgia.
Wishing to have her story told, but wishing to retain her anonymity, the subject wishes to be referred to simply as H.
The subjects of the images themselves are items which H feels do not simply ‘belong’ to her, but are those with which she has a reciprocal relationship because of her illness, she feels, in effect, that she belongs to them.
Items which she feels sum up her days, such is the defining nature of her illness.
Together, the five images offer glimpses of both despair and hope.
I enjoyed this exercise, it made a refreshing change. It was interesting to work in a different genre of photography and to be able to use my photography to tell a different kind of story.
To help develop my storytelling skills, I imposed a time limit for this exercise – 25 minutes to shoot five images.
Overall, I am pleased with the resulting images – although there is of course room for improvement. As discussed elsewhere, I am currently working in black and white. These images, however, I felt worked best in colour despite the (obvious) association of black and white with ‘despair and hope’.
This is an exercise I am looking to repeat.