Telling a consistent and beautiful visual story is so important in a world where we are bombarded with so much content. We need our audience to recognise our images and for new people to enjoy what we are sharing and become part of that audience.
As you learn to improve your photography it is also good to think about a style and feel for your images. What do you want your images to look like? How do you want them to make people feel? How can you images match your brand or blog?
Colours, exposure (lightness/darkness), compositions, textures and of course subjects are all things you can use to develop your own visual style.
If we develop a feel and a style for our images then our visual story will be stronger and more recognisable.
This is not something that we can do overnight and it is the hardest part of this whole course. Sorry to start with it! But it is really important to spend some time thinking about it now and then to keep returning to it every few months. Or every month if you can make the time. It will come and the more you practise your photography and the more you really think about the content you are creating, the easier it will become.
As makers you have such wonderful, visual stories to tell. Not only are you all making beautiful, inspiring things but your making process is always going to be a fascinating and creative thing to document.
Engaging with your audience through showing them your process, your inspiration, your workspace, as well as the gorgeous things you make can be done so well through images.
If you can tell these stories in a style that suits you and your own creativity then it will be even stronger, more authentic and more identifiable.
I find a really great way to think about the style you want to create and the types of stories you want to tell is to make a Pinterest board. I love spending time wandering around Pinterest, looking at what people are posting, gathering inspiration from other people's collections of beautiful images, and trying to distill it all down into a set of ideas that will help me in a project.
Your task for today is to make a Pinterest board by gathering images that you could imagine being part of your storytelling as a maker. Imagine that you work with wood in your making. Gather beautiful images of wood, people making with wood, people foraging for wood, people standing in the woods, texture, ornament, craftsmanship… try to gather a series of images that seem "right" to you. Search for words that are really specific to your craft. Gather images that fit with your personal style and the materials you work with. Images that make you think "yes, that" go into the board. Images that are "no that's not me at all" go into the reject pile. If you're feeling adventurous, even keep some of the rejects just so you know what you're *not* going for!
I like to think of this as your Story Safari. Go far, go wide, gather amazing images, arrange them in to whatever set of boards makes sense to you, and just enjoy the feeling of freely gathering inspiration for how you'd love to be expressing yourself online.
Don't worry about limitations here – this is all about "going wide" and seeing what patterns and themes emerge for you.
Phew! I hope you find this exhilarating, because this is such a luxurious exercise, but you can achieve a lot in just an hour or so.
If you're feeling like sharing, the Facebook group is a great place to post your finds. What is it about your board or boards that gives you pause to reflect? Is anything surprising here? Did you imagine you would be all about pastels and delicate images, but actually you've collected earthily toned images with lots of contrast? Make a few notes of your initial thoughts. These will help you later on.
Overall, enjoy the safari and start thinking about the kinds of images that you could use as part of your storytelling.
Here are some inspiring Maker stories to help you begin.
The second section of your workbook will help you gather any observations.
Have fun today and I look forward to seeing you in the Facebook Group.