After nine months in the making, I’m excited and very honored to announce Storytellers: A Photographer’s Guide to Developing Themes and Creating Stories with Pictures, my first book with Peachpit/New Riders!
I love story. It’s the reason I put a camera to my eye every time, whether I’m on assignment, creating stock images, or simply setting around the house with family on holiday. It’s also why I enjoy teaching photography and visual communication to my college students. Not to sound too philosophical, but stories are what this whole world revolves around, and the camera is one of the greatest means of creating said stories. Everything from National Geographic features to shots of your child’s first birthday, photographs are powerful conveyors of story, and they always will be. So, when some great folks at Peachpit and I started talking about a possible project in regard to photographic storytelling, I was excited and definitely on board!
Storytellers is complementary to many of the great how-to photography books out there already. As photographers, it’s important that we learn as much as possible about the technical end of our craft, and that’s precisely where this book is complementary. It bridges the how-to of photography with the who, what, when, where, why, and how of story. As I write in the introduction of the book, story is the next topic of discussion in the conversation on how we operate the camera and developing how we see photographically.
The book is broken up into three areas of interest. The first details who we are–not only as photographers, but also visual storytellers–and the significance of photography to society and how we’re informed about our cultural environment. Second, the book goes in to detail about characteristics of successful storytelling images, why we adhere to and break certain photographic “rules” in regard to story, and the types of images that compellingly stitch a story together. The last topical area covers how you can identify and locate interesting story, and the nuts and bolts of putting a storytelling workflow together, all while anticipating the next one worth telling.
Sprinkled among the 288 pages are numerous tips, anecdotes, and exercises to help challenge readers to push their storytelling abilities. Additionally, the text includes several interviews I conducted with some of the visual storytellers I look up to the most–some of the best and most respected in the business. I’m honored to have these gracious folks in the book, and their contributions to the art and craft of storytelling ranges from experiences with National Geographic and some of the premier newspapers in the nation to large commercial clients, humanitarian organizations, and iconic book work. I certainly enjoyed our conversations during the interviews, and I know there’s a few things (or a hundred) to take away from what they have to say!
One of the primary reasons why I write on the subject of photography (on this blog and others) is to highlight the value of making sure we’re actually saying something with our images and not just pushing the buttons. Ultimately, this is what Storytellers is about, and it’s written for both those starting out in photography and pros alike. It’s is a book that hopefully makes you think. I want it to make you think not only about how you’re making images, but more importantly, why you’re making them and why making them in certain ways helps you tell a better story. I believe every image has something to say, and I believe everyone that picks up a camera has the ability to tell a visual story with their photographs. I wanted to write Storytellers to address just that ability.
Many thanks to all of those folks who had a hand in helping this book come to fruition. I can’t say enough good things about the team over at Peachpit/New Riders! The book is beautifully designed, and I can’t wait to see it in print! I’m honored to be part of such a great group of folks committed to developing such great resources for photographers.
Storytellers will be shipping in December (anyone need a last minute holiday gift?), and like all of Peachpit’s and New Riders’ great resources, you can find it online at Peachpit, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. At the moment, it’s available for pre-order, and if you are interested in catching a glimpse of it before it’s in print, don’t hesitate to swing over to Peachpit’s subscriber Rough Cuts version. After the print date, you’ll also be able to find it at your favorite local bookstore!
P.S. There’s another announcement that’s been nine months in the making as well, but that will have to wait until next week–fingers crossed!
More to come!