A typical story has a beginning, middle and end. But how do you capture this in a photo? Well, The Humans of New York project has managed to illustrate people’s personal stories in a single shot. So, I thought to myself, “why not try out their techniques here at Stone Junction?”

By Elise Elston-Thompson, work experience at Stone Junction

The rule of thirds
It is important to understand the basic rules of photography before diving into the deep end. For example, consider splitting the composition into ‘thirds’ and placing the subject off-centre as this is much more pleasing to the eye. However, if you want to break the unwritten rule of thirds for effect, then you should. Just ensure you only do this on occasion — and with confidence.

Light and context
Think about how each layer in the photo responds to light. Where is your light source? Does the lighting match your desired mood? Most people will be viewing your picture on a small phone screen, so a dark image will much less visible. A good tip is to over-expose a bit during the editing process to brighten up dull images.

Context of the photograph is just as important as the shot itself. Be clear with the intention of your photo and what it represents. Perhaps write a list of buzzwords before starting your project. By provoking an emotion, you are immediately grabbing the reader’s attention; you want to leave the viewer feeling curious.

Humans of Stone Junction
Just like The Humans of New York, in my Stone Junction attempt I felt it was necessary to record the story to post along with the shot. This allows the viewer to build a personal connection with the character. After an initial interviewing my subjects I also return for more probing questions.

When writing the text to accompany the photo, I knew the first sentence had to shock and hook the reader. I was not short of interesting story openers to include. From eating 13 chilli peanuts to arranging a naked band to play for clients, the Stone Junction team have all shared a range of quirky PR experiences. My stories became elaborate and colourful to match the personalities of the team.

You can find my Humans of Stone Junction series on:

If you need a hand with your next photography project you can call us on 01785 225 416 or e-mail zafar@stonejunction.co.uk. We’ll help from the beginning, to the middle, to the end.

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