Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I received an email the other day asking this question, never been asked this in quite this way. It did  make me read on. It seems he had seen images I had posted on my blog and on Facebook and wanted to know why I didn't just post wedding or just nature images. I'm not sure if he thought I was better at one then the other or  just not good at either lol. 
But it made me stop and think, because we are asked that question, on occasion. Usually when we meet people in a social setting and they find out that we are photographers. I usually say that we shoot everything we can. While that is true, when I thought about it, I realized that it sounded less then professional and well kind of lame.
So I decided to answer Tim and I asked myself the same question. As I thought about it I realized that I do like photographing just about everything but what would I call myself? I know that I usually look for interesting light either natural or man made but that was not the complete answer.
Then as I looked at my images it struck me. What kind of photographer am I ? I hope a story teller. That is what I try to do in each image I take. The image can be of a dad waiting to see his daughter, in her wedding dress, for the first time. An egret tending to her egg in it's nest or two people relaxing on a beach looking out on a wonderful sunset.
The images should inform and also make you add to the story be part of the story telling expierence. What is the dad thinking? Is he excited, happy, a little sad, is he thinking about when he first held her as a baby?
What exactly is the egret doing? Is she moving the egg around to cover the egg with the twigs or is she just taking a rest from sitting on it for hours? Will the egg hatch and if so will the hatchling survive, not always a sure thing.
The two people sitting and watching the sunset  are they on vacation, in retirement? Have they been married for years or only known each other for a short while?
I know what story I see each time I look at the pictures but you might see a completly different story and thats ok, actually in most cases that is what I prefer. I enjoy making you part of the story.
 So Tim, thank you. From now on when asked the same question I'll reply I'm a storyteller.


Steve Lewis Photography said...

Good post.

I thought at first this was going to be one of those "find your niche" posts that everyone seems to have. I'm not so much into nature, but people.

I do take Civil War battlefield shots, but that's just for me. I love history and visiting the fields where so much was sacrificed.

But when people ske me what kind of photographer I am, I usually say "lifestyle". I photograph weddings, babies and teens mostly, so that always has seemed appropriate.

But I like "storyteller". Again, thanks for the good post!

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I always thought of you as a Life Photographer. You capture stills of everything living and in them we see the details of their life. Everything from the animals, weddings and nature photos you take all are living and you have made beauty known to things we may never have expected or seen through our eyes.

fantacy in practicality said...

u are a versatile photographer jim, no doubt.

may it be wild life, weddings, moments to treasure, each of your click captures different story lines of different shades of existence.

melissa said...

i often wonder that too... and would've wanted to ask the right question... like for artists, each has his/her own expertise and styles... but i guess you've talked about it another post and would prefer not to be branded as a "wedding photographer" alone... but i've seen your art style and if you say it's story telling, then that's it... so the style goes with every image you take in whatever genre or topic it is... i'm very glad you take in criticisms positively... well, i still have to work on my own... it's like a question on why is the title of my blog page "depth" when i'm so superficial...geez... that's why you're here, i guess, continue with your story telling :)... and again, as a word coming from a friend, audience and a fan, You're always worth the time :)

Roy Durham said...

Jim i have given this some thought. and i think you are a time bandit, a keeper of moments of time, a story trapper aw a light wrangler. thank you and god bless

Jessica Brant said...

I don't think there is a reason for you to have to label yourself or lump yourself into one category. You are a story teller not only with words but with the amazing images that you take. be it weddings, nature, action. You see it, you feel it, you shot it, you tell it.. Don;t ever stop that..

FAYE said...

I love the storyteller thing! I really believe there are stories behind every picture. A storyteller that could inspire others, that could capture the hearts of every person that would see the pictures.

Thank you for being one =). Just like now, you're not only a photographer nor a storyteller but an inspiration especially to the young ones like me =)

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I love the way Roy Durham put it. Perfect! And yes, you certainly are a story teller with your photography.

SJ said...

I really like the storyteller and time bandit labels, do you think you should where a Zoro mask when you shoot? personally I think you are a magician, I saw the shots you took the other day and how you turned them from great shots into amazing shots.

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Roy said it best, Jim. I'm not sure why someone wants you to restrict yourself. Your pictures are beautiful and we enjoy them all!

Jerly said...

Story teller is a good choice

Kriti said...

I agree - you are a storyteller of the finest kind. The subtleties in your pictures talk volumes.

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