3 Oddly Simple Reasons Why Storytelling Will Make You a Better Photographer

Kent DuFault
Kent DuFault

New / Noteworthy

We all have a story to tell.


There are things from the past that influence the way we feel… There are current events that are shaping our lives right now.

And then, there are the future moments we haven’t yet lived.

Utilizing all of that life experience into your photographic efforts will truly improve your work, make your images memorable to others, and most importantly- the images that you create will hold greater value to you- the photographer!



In this post, we’ll explore 3 reasons why storytelling will make you a better photographer. And give you some tips on how to start today.

(Note: If you’d like to learn how to tell a story with your photographs, take a look at this ebook on effective storytelling with photography.)

1. The therapeutic nature of storytelling

Photo by Bit Cloud

When I look at them – all of them – they bring me peace and happiness. I remember the story.

Storytelling is innate in all humans. It feeds the mind of both, the storyteller as well as the listener (or the viewer, in the case of photography).

You want to tell a good story with your photos, and people want to receive a good story with your photos. It’s simply a matter of altering your thinking as a creator of photography.

Look, we’ve all been there. I was there. When I started in photography (a long time ago), my mentor taught me to take pictures of barns and fences.

That was what he loved to take pictures of, and he felt that I should be the same way.

However, it didn’t take me long to become tired of barns and fences.

I wasn’t finding my own creative therapy in that type of photography or storytelling.

When you make the effort to discover your passions and values, the process of creating storytelling photographs will actually provide a therapeutic benefit to your being.

It’s true.

I have many of my photographs hanging on the walls of our home. All of them are storytelling images. None of them are simply a beauty shot of some vacation spot.

When I look at them – all of them – they bring me peace and happiness. I remember the story.

When you begin to shoot your images in this manner, they will bring you inner peace as well. Something to keep in mind when photographing.

2. Storytelling lets you 'Personalize' your composition

The greatest storytellers are great because they stay true to their particular way of telling a story. It’s what makes them different and memorable.

If you were on a beach along with fifty other photographers, all photographing the sunset, how would your shot convey something personal to the viewer of your photograph in a way that makes your composition distinct?

The answer lies in personalizing the message your image conveys.

Personalization is the essence of storytelling. Without personalization, it’s not a story. It is simply an anecdote.

You show me a pretty photograph of the sunrise on a generic-looking beach, that’s an anecdote.

You show me a pretty photograph of the sunrise on a beach along with a sign that reads Hawaii, and a bikiniclad girl carrying a surfboard into the water, that’s a story!

Here are some ways to personalize a photograph:

  • Provide a humorous element
  • Shock the viewer
  • Include a mysterious element
  • Capture human drama
  • Show a specific point of view
  • Present a personal opinion

A photograph that tells a story is much more impactful to your viewers than one without a story. The next time you are photographing and want to tell a better story through your shot, give the above ideas a try.

3. Storytelling helps add meaning to your photographic style

Photo by Vlad Sargu

Develop your photographic style around the way you think and see the world.

By being true to yourself, and to the message that you want to convey, you will reach more people than if you try to be generic and as widespread as possible. 

A message for the millions is a message for no one.

The greatest storytellers are great because they stay true to their particular way of telling a story. It’s what makes them different and memorable.

You should do the same with your storytelling photographs. Don’t be trendy.

Develop your photographic style around the way you think and see the world. Then go about capturing the world with your camera in your own way and telling your own stories.

Try this little trick-

You should sit down and write out a list of the values that you hold dear. By writing them out, you will become more aware of them and, consequently, they will be fresh in your mind when you’re out trying to create storytelling photographs.

Many experts agree that the process of writing something down on paper has a tendency to bring those written objectives to reality.

If you write down your values, the things that matter to you, and if you carry that around with you and review it on a regular basis, you are more likely to create meaningful storytelling photographs that convey those values than if you don’t write them down.

The psychology and what's next?

Even a slight change could turn your image from something “normal” ...into an image that is an unforgettable storytelling effort.

Storytelling touches on all of the memory retention buttons within the human brain.

It’s basic psychology.

A good story communicates a message that sticks in your brain. And you can learn how to make your images stick in others’ brains like glue.

Here’s something to think about when you’re about to create a photograph-

Even a slight change could turn your image from something “normal” and “not memorable” …into an image that is an unforgettable storytelling effort.

So what’s the best way to learn photographic storytelling?

Introducing the … “Effective Storytelling With Photography” eBook

Take a peek inside this eBook →

This premium guide is 133-pages of deep training, with 7 complete chapters of tutorials, illustrations, case-studies and self-check quizzes. You’ll be getting a simple and practical understanding of using storytelling to make your photographs stand out.

Read this eBook, and discover every aspect of the storytelling process, and also, (even more importantly), how you can implement that knowledge into your photographic efforts!

Think about how that would feel, possessing the skill to impart your personal stories out to the world. This is why this training is SO important to your photography.

Telling your story, with your image, is the ONE THING that can set you apart from every other photographer on the planet!

Your stories are uniquely YOU-

Quick Customer Review:
★★★★★
For me the book presents a whole new way of thinking and  approaching the shot and what you want the audience to see in the shot.  Very helpful– Rino C.

BONUS: I've got something special for you on the next page...

If you’d like to learn the art of photographic storytelling, check out our ebook guide Effective Storytelling with Photography.

This premium guide is 133-pages of deep training, with 7 concise chapters of tutorials, illustrations, case-studies and self-check quizzes. You also get 3 free bonuses today.


If you missed out on your copy last time, it’s available again, and on sale right now. Plus it includes a free printable storytelling checklist for your camera bag!

Click below now, to read about it on the next page…

REMEMBER – Storytelling is the single biggest photographic skill, that you can learn, that will make your work stand out from everyone else.

About Kent DuFault

About Kent DuFault

Kent DuFault became a photographer in September of 1974. He took a “Basic Photography” class in high school and was hooked for life. His best-selling guide, Effective Storytelling With Photography, has helped thousands of photographers worldwide take better photos by utilizing the power of storytelling.

Who is Photzy™ ?

Great question! Photzy.com is an online photography school with a focus on simple, practical tips and tutorials, for beginners. Founded in 2012, we’ve grown to a small team of photography enthusiasts from all over the world, teaching over 200,000 students from 180 countries. No matter where your current skill level is, we’d like to help you explore your unique creative side, through photography!

“At Photzy, we believe EVERYONE is creative, and that photography is the best way to explore and share your creative side with the world.”