Looking beyond the photo

You have now carefully studied the content of your photo and hopefully come up with plenty of ideas and information. So finally it’s time to start looking beyond the photo to find out what’s not in the photo and why this might be.

Even if you do not know the facts behind your photo (for example, whether anyone or anything significant is missing) try to imagine what might have happened outside the frame of the photo and whether the photo conveys a particular emotion. What do you think was happening at the time the photo was taken and why? What do you think might have have happened just before the photo was taken and just after the photo was taken? Who do you think took the photo – a friend, a family member, a professional photographer? What ideas or emotions do you conjure up in your mind when you look at the photo? These are not essential elements for your story but being free to use your imagination gives you the chance to add a whole new creative dimension to your story.

If you are working with an older photo, look for things that reveal what might have been happening at the time the photo was taken. Photos are part of our social history and can tell us so much about life and society at the time. If you don’t know much about the period then do a bit of research to find out more.

Assignment 4

Below is a list of things you should do to complete Lesson 4:

  • Do you know or can you imagine what happened just before and after the photo was taken?
  • Are there any people missing from the photo?
  • What was happening in the world at the time the photo was taken?
  • Does the photo include any clues about what life and society were like at the time?
  • What events or relationships do you think might have happened before and after the photo?

Before moving on the next lesson complete assignment 4 in your Writing the Stories Behind your Photos Workbook.

When you have completed the assignment, click here to go to Lesson 5 Creating a photo storyboard.

Back to Lesson 3 Digging even deeper