The Many Stories in an Image

I have slowing been going through the images I took when on a personal vacation in Alaska. I found this image of my nephew which I really liked but I felt that it lacked .... something.


The photo was taken at a low angle and I loved his expression but I found that my eye was drawn to the yellow stripe on his sweater and on the frame of the picture on the wall.

So what to do?

As I love Black & White images, I thought I would try the conversion to see what would come of it. 


Much much better in my opinion. My eyes naturally were drawn to his eyes and the expression on his face.

But what would happen if I cropped it?

Darn it, I liked that one too and now I was stuck with two images that I liked. Which one do I chose?

This whole process brought an interesting point home to me. The image was trying to tell me something. Yes, I know that it sound corney, but I think that one of the things that makes the difference between snapshots and photography is the voice of the image.

To me, the cropped version is much more of a portrait. It focuses on my nephew. It tells a story of an individual.
The larger image tells more of a story to me of a person in a much larger context.

So what does that mean? It means that the art of photography exists in what you, as an artist, are trying to say. What feelings are you trying to convey or capture? Think about each image. Listen to what it is trying to say to you. As you study your images and work with them, you will discover your voice.