When setting up our new home I made sure to mount my prints on our walls in attractive frames.  There are so many when someone walks through the doors they kind of smack them in the face and for most everyone, all they can do is stare.  I derive much pleasure from this, watching them stare, move through the images, and then settle on one or two which strikes them as especially interesting.  For a long time I’ve experimented with what makes people gravitate to certain imagery, thumbnails, shapes and colors, etc..

 

When setting up our new home I made sure to mount my prints on our walls in attractive frames.  There are so many when someone walks through the doors they kind of smack them in the face and for most everyone, all they can do is stare.  I derive much pleasure from this, watching them stare, move through the images, and then settle on one or two which strikes them as especially interesting.  For a long time I’ve experimented with what makes people gravitate to certain imagery, thumbnails, shapes and colors, etc..

 

Once they settle on a certain image then the questions start.  This is where your story telling skills come into play.  It’s like fishing.  When you feel them nibbling around the hook, tasting the bait, you need to let them move in and take bigger bites and then JERK that hook up and sideways at the same time to set the hook.  Then you’ve got them.  It’s the same way with images and storytelling. It’s not enough to tell them what the image is and where it’s from.

 

Once they settle on a certain image then the questions start.  This is where your story telling skills come into play.  It’s like fishing.  When you feel them nibbling around the hook, tasting the bait, you need to let them move in and take bigger bites and then JERK that hook up and sideways at the same time to set the hook.  Then you’ve got them.  It’s the same way with images and storytelling. It’s not enough to tell them what the image is and where it’s from.

 

You need to get them interested in the image to the point where they follow along with your story on how you got there, the moments leading up to the image, the people you met who helped you get to the shooting location, maybe a few stories of the local community.  Good story telling is a skill, you want to leave them wanting more.  Never give them all they want the first time.  Give them just enough so the next time they come over they’ve saved up their questions and start expressing an interest in travel.

 

You need to get them interested in the image to the point where they follow along with your story on how you got there, the moments leading up to the image, the people you met who helped you get to the shooting location, maybe a few stories of the local community.  Good story telling is a skill, you want to leave them wanting more.  Never give them all they want the first time.  Give them just enough so the next time they come over they’ve saved up their questions and start expressing an interest in travel.

 

Those who have never traveled need to be brought into the story bit by bit, to feel every bit of your experience, but in the proper order.  You’re not your fifth grade history teacher making the class watch his summer trip slide show.  Instead, you become their portal to a faraway world replete with ancient wonders, colorful people, and adventurous stories.  With the help of your images, you’re taking the place of their HDTV and Discovery Channel programming.

 

Those who have never traveled need to be brought into the story bit by bit, to feel every bit of your experience, but in the proper order.  You’re not your fifth grade history teacher making the class watch his summer trip slide show.  Instead, you become their portal to a faraway word replete with ancient wonders, colorful people, and adventurous stories.  With the help of your images, you’re taking the place of their HDTV and Discovery Channel programming.

 

Are you up for the challenge?  Can you enrich someone’s life and turn their humdrum day into something special?  A few general guidelines I’d recommend is to pick just a single picture from each location, or each genre, and don’t bore them with 100-200 images of the same location.  Get this image properly printed and attractively mounted and up on your wall.  Catch their interest with this strong visual.

 

Are you up for the challenge?  Can you enrich someone’s life and turn their humdrum day into something special?  A few general guidelines I’d recommend is to pick just a single picture from each location, or each genre, and don’t bore them with 100-200 images of the same location.  Get this image properly printed and attractively mounted and up on your wall.  Catch their interest with this strong visual.

 

Have subsets of your images ready to go, but not on a computer or HDTV, take the time to make attractive portfolios they can set on the coffee table in front of them or hold in their lap.  DO NOT send them to your Flickr account, they’ve seen it all before.  Too many times.  But they probably haven’t held a quality portfolio, felt the leather and fine papers, and isolated each image with such precision.

 

Have subsets of your images ready to go, but not on a computer or HDTV, take the time to make attractive portfolios they can set on the coffee table in front of them or hold in their lap.  DO NOT send them to your Flickr account, they’ve seen it all before.  Too many times.  But they probably haven’t held a quality portfolio, felt the leather and fine papers, and isolated each image with such precision.

 

Nothing is worse than saturating ones senses with hundreds of images that all look alike.  If someone shows an interest in a certain place, then by all means break out the galleries, but otherwise keep them to yourself.  Keep the adventure alive by feeding it to them bit by interesting bit.

 

Nothing is worse than saturating ones senses with hundreds of images that all look alike.  If someone shows an interest in a certain place, then by all means break out the galleries, but otherwise keep them to yourself.  Keep the adventure alive by feeding it to them bit by interesting bit.

 

When you tell them about an image, how you got there, who helped you, the locals you met along the way, share all the interesting facts, but even if they ask don’t tell them what equipment you used or any of the technical aspects.  They’re not ready for that yet.  You need to get them hooked on the adventure, on the stalk, on the hunt for the capture.  Make them feel they could do it, help build their fantasy.  And perhaps someday it will be their reality and you’ll have done someone the best favor imaginable.

 

When you tell them about an image, how you got there, who helped you, the locals you met along the way, share all the interesting facts, but even if they ask don’t tell them what equipment you used or any of the technical aspects.  They’re not ready for that yet.  You need to get them hooked on the adventure, on the stalk, on the hunt for the capture.  Make them feel they could do it, help build their fantasy.  And perhaps someday it will be their reality and you’ll have done someone the best favor imaginable.

 

It’s not enough to share photographs.  That’s only a small part of the job.  You need to share the experience.  Help them feel the heat and humidity from the jungle, hear the sounds of the sois, and smell the foods from the street vendors.  That’s photography!

 

It’s not enough to share photographs.  That’s only a small part of the job.  You need to share the experience.  Help them feel the heat and humidity from the jungle, hear the sounds of the sois, and smell the foods from the street vendors.  That’s photography!

 

Take it further as you narrate the story.  Help them get to know the people you met.  Monotones don’t cut it.  Instead, vary the pitch and inflection of your voice, mimic strange accents, help your experiences and travels come alive in their minds.

 

Take it further as you narrate the story.  Help them get to know the people you met.  Monotones don’t cut it.  Instead, vary the pitch and inflection of your voice, mimic strange accents, help your experiences and travels come alive in their minds.

 

I remember once trying to describe Angkor Vat and failing miserably.  I sat alone that night going over my failure and making a plan for the next try.  It’s a wonderful privilege to be asked, but you’ll need to earn the repeat.

 

I remember once trying to describe Angkor Vat and failing miserably.  I sat alone that night going over my failure and making a plan for the next try.  It’s a wonderful privilege to be asked, but you’ll need to earn the repeat.

 

Often I find children the more apt listeners. I’ll show then the image and start the story, and soon I’ll notice their parents listening and moving closer, soon they’ll take over with the questions, but don’t let them!  It’s fun to put them on the same level with their own kids, all of them interested in your adventure and all (albeit on different levels) dreaming about living your experiences.  It’s the best type of gift you’ll ever get from your art.  Telling the story to interested parties is only second to living the experience in the first place.

 

Often I find children the more apt listeners. I’ll show then the image and start the story, and soon I’ll notice their parents listening and moving closer, soon they’ll take over with the questions, but don’t let them!  It’s fun to put them on the same level with their own kids, all of them interested in your adventure and all (albeit on different levels) dreaming about living your experiences.  It’s the best type of gift you’ll ever get from your art.  Telling the story to interested parties is only second to living the experience in the first place.

 

Go ahead, share your images, your adventures, and your love for travel.  But do take the time to present them properly.  No Flickr, no Ipad full of pictures, none of that.. they’ve seen it 1000’s of times before.  A properly printed and mounted photograph is worth ten Ipads full of images.  Your personal account of going there, traveling to the site, describing the people and the food and the rickety taxi, all of that is worth more than a room full of Ipads.  You’re the photographer, the artist, and the story teller.  The world is your audience, your home the stage.

 

Go ahead, share your images, your adventures, and your love for travel.  But do take the time to present them properly.  No Flickr, no Ipad full of pictures, none of that.. they’ve seen it 1000’s of times before.  A properly printed and mounted photograph is worth ten Ipads full of images.  Your personal account of going there, traveling to the site, describing the people and the food and the rickety taxi, all of that is worth more than a room full of Ipads.  You’re the photographer, the artist, and the story teller.  The world is your audience, your home the stage.

 

Bait them, set the hook, and then thrill them with your travels in the same way you experienced them yourself.  Travel and exposure to different cultures is a gift, a gift best shared freely and with enthusiasm.  A gift which can truly change someone’s life.  Motivate their desire for travel. Excite and thrill them.  Be the storyteller.

Until next time..

 

Bait them, set the hook, and then thrill them with your travels in the same way you experienced them yourself.  Travel and exposure to different cultures is a gift, a gift best shared freely and with enthusiasm.  A gift which can truly change someone’s life.  Motivate their desire for travel. Excite and thrill them.  Be the storyteller.