In today’s creative branding, marketing and advertising culture, the idea of “story” seems to be everywhere. Companies are creating brand books to define their “brand story.” (By the way, brand books are super helpful for directing how we approach photography for our clients.) Creative providers and agencies are touting story-telling services. There are business books on story-telling. (Confession: I bought “Winning the Story Wars” but only got about a quarter of the way through it before moving on.)
I can get a little cynical about the overuse of “story.” I think in reality I’m just critical of creative service companies trying to use story-telling as a differentiator. Story is important, but one’s ability to tell story is also fundamental. Telling it well is of higher value. But I digress. I like the exercise of creating work with some kind of story to establish direction. Story is an effective tool for defining creative.
I’ve not been to Ireland in the winter, but I have this picture in my mind of what it’d be like. Being in an old-world stone cottage somewhere in a remote part of Ireland was the story going through my mind when food stylist Teresa Blackburn and I started this small project together. She and I both had ideas in our minds. She may have been thinking about a different country all together. What happens though in our collaboration is a blending of our ideas, our experiences, and our stories. That’s probably my favorite part of food photography — when collaborative visions meld and come together in our images. We created a loose visual story dialogue and came up with the following.
And wait for it…
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist.