How To Tell Stories That Sell With Photography

Telling A Story In 10 Seconds

You can see by watching popular television shows how scenes are established and stories are told in as little as ten seconds. The simple storytelling formula used in now-classic shows like Seinfeld, The Office, and Friends includes the following steps:

  • Set the scene (wide)
  • Present the story (medium)
  • Show the details (tight)
  • Enrich via b-roll (observe)

This formula translates directly to shooting stills for photographers. The basic premise will almost always involve shooting wide, medium, and tight shots. If you can slow down your shoots to include each of these angles within every scene, you can make S3 succeed when you bring clients in after a shoot to sell wall art clusters and albums.

Otherwise, if you only shoot an epic shot and skip the other angles and details, you will have a harder time selling your images as a cohesive set, and clients will likely get individual prints made elsewhere, like Costco, because it’s cheap and easy to do so. You want to make your work stand out so that clients realize the value of the art they’re buying from you. You should be able to craft a story in a way that they cannot do it on their own. You can also remind them that with you, photos will be professionally retouched, printed, inspected, and installed, which can take up to 8 to 10 hours, which is time that most clients would rather spend doing something else. Finally, they should realize they won’t get an heirloom-quality piece of art from Costco.

Visualize the Final Product

It helps to visualize the final product before, during, and after the shoot. This is where you consider the album spread or wall art cluster while prepping to create or during the creation of the images. Try to always think in sequences when photographing your clients so that you can create stronger, cohesive stories and make it easier to sell a variety of products to showcase those stories.