Telling your story through photography: advice from Martin Parr
How to bring the story of your organisation to life through the lens of a camera or smartphone.
Identify key moments that convey the personality of your community
Martin Parr: If you go out and try and photograph yourself you have to go in close, often people go too far away, and you have to identify if you like where the energy source is, and then sort of concentrate on that.
This is in Sheffield, this is the Loxley Silver Band, and I went to one of their rehearsals, and this guy was doing a trumpet solo, and you can see the absolute concentration and the puff that you have to put in. So I’ve focused on the fingers here, and the rest of his face, it’s all there, the detail, but it’s slightly out of focus. So you really get a sense of that real hard work that has to go into playing a brass band instrument.
Make sure you tell a story through the photos you take
Martin Parr: I think the better pictures tell a story within the single frame. You get a sense of what’s going on, there will be a contradiction there, there will be a point that’s being made through the photograph, and you can build up these little sections if you like of the narrative, and at the end you have 10, 20 pictures that really do give a sort of image of what this place was like, and the sense of feeling and the excitement of being at that particular event.
So this is Organised Kaos. They use a lot of things like trapezes, so that means that during sort of free time they’re often hanging upside down. So I was able to actually get these two kids who had a great relationship with each other, and someone the right way up, so it just makes it look surreal. So you’re looking all the time for little moments like this where you’ve got a little surprise in the photo but it also tells you a story at the same time.
Take lots of photos
Martin Parr: I think my advice is, take many more pictures, accept that you have to take a lot of bad pictures because if you just wait for the great moments then you sort of lose momentum.
To view Martin’s images and to support a project in your local community, visit aviva.co.uk/community-fund