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Photo stories: A beginner's guide to get going with the skill
Stories had been integral to human culture and will continue to be so. The style of storytelling keeps on changing. For example, earlier, the storytelling followed the oral tradition, then it followed the expressive arts formats and currently it is the multi-media format that is dominant.

If you have a camera, you can create 'photo stories' with little education, effort, planning and practice. If you are not a good orator, you can narrate a story with a series of photographs by honing a few skills.

Producing photo-stories and photo- essays will take your photography to a new creative level of visual storytelling through photography. In visual storytelling, images are ordered in a specific way, either chronologically or as a series or sequence of happening.

Writing captions as narratives are also an integral part of a photo story that should help the viewer understand each shot of the series. Captions expand the photographer's as well as viewer's understanding of a snap shot.

Planning is an essential part of the process for visual storytelling ahead of photography. Create a tentative structure in mind and write your plan. This will help you to think and create a narrative around the photographs.

Your photography plan should include the following steps: selecting the topic, theme  or message; research on the topic; clarifying your topic though probable images; and finally planning your shots.

Just like a film, your visual narrative should have a lead or opening shot; two-three establishing long and mid shots, 5-10 interactive and sequential shots to build the story, and a conclusion or closing shot to end the story.

Creating good photo stories is more a matter of learning by doing and taking a challenge. After some basics and practice, switch over to trusting your instincts and sharpening of your common sense to make stories unfold. This will help you not be afraid of failures or criticism to make you spontaneously creative in photo-storytelling.

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