Photo Stories: Your Turn

Dollar Store Water Bottles

This was several years ago. The green jeep has long since quit working, the bottles from The Dollar Store are long gone and these two 14-year-olds of today still enjoy each other’s company but like to do very different things.

I love this photograph because of the joy in Lydia’s face when she sees the water and because the rescue means that a mother, who is my daughter was paying attention to what was going on.

The pool in the background is gone and too small for anyone anyway but I still have the garden hat. I think that what will make photographs like this one so priceless in the future are the memories they create of lives so peaceful and prosperous.

You might think that I am breaking my own rules by taking “look-at-me-and-smile” photographs. If you don’t think there is a story in this moment, you are hopelessly lost.

First, the grandchildren crowded together on a bench for a “regular” photo which I had set up to surprise their parents. Each child was given glasses, attached to a nose, to keep secret until I gave the signal. When the parents came outside to try to keep their children in the picture for just a minute longer, they were asked to leave the kids alone, for heaven’s sake, and turn around.

Then, the kids put on their glasses with the funny noses, all of the time giggling and laughing at each other and sat perfectly still and tried to be serious.

The surprised parents were captivated. Even the smallest, most uncooperative child was “in disguise”  and the glasses were worn most of the day and into the evening.

You can turn ordinary group shots into memorable moments with only a little effort.

See what I mean?


These boys are hunting for ants under rocks. She gets it. Sometimes the photographs we take are all about body language.

Record the Interactions of Generations

Sometimes the stories we tell are about relationships and service. Most people don’t like to be stalked by a camera. If you can have a “magic lens” then use it. Otherwise, use every inch of zoom you can get with whatever you are using to record your life.

And last, but not least, try to capture action.  If I had taken a photograph of my grandson (on the left) just before this race, there would be no story. He lost the race, but the photograph, and the legs of these two competitive runners tell you why.

It was all in the legs.

Hope these ideas will help. Now, go out and tell some stories.


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