3. Structure.

You need to provide a structure that the reader can follow. The structure for the story can be -

  • Sequential - Once upon a time… and then… when… but while… and… finally.
  • By event – this is the 150th founder’s day celebration.
  • By activity – Bobby’s summer in Little League.
  • By location – Our visit to Grand Canyon.
  • By subject – my new car.

You should limit a particular work to one type of organization except when in combination with sequential organization. You can base your work on your summer vacation (structure by activity) but then it would be organized sequentially by where you went first, where you went next, etc.

4. Theme.

The theme is what the story is about. For our purpose, this is also called the topic of the work or the subject of the work. It may seem to be keen perception of the obvious but you should restrict the work to a single theme. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to start out with one theme, wander to another and then another. This becomes a problem for the reader as the second and third themes are often related to the original only tangentially. The best way to prevent this wandering is to use an outline. And what you find is the more detailed the outline the easier it is to tell the story you want.

5. Brevity.

Whenever you are involved in storytelling, especially print or electronic book-related storytelling, the idea is to give the reader as concise a work as possible that still effectively presents the subject in terms of the frame. There is an old but still very true guidance that holds you never use a phrase when a word will do, never use a sentence when a phrase will do and never use a paragraph when a sentence will do. The goal, both photographically and textually is to fully explore the subject but in as brief and concise a manner as possible. The other idea that applies here is economy of expression. Avoid the fluff and repetition that can sometimes work its way into a piece on both the photographic side and the text side.

6. Avoid the trendy/bleeding edge stuff.

Unless your your subject’s story is about the trendy/cutting edge/bleeding edge stuff that appears every now and then, leave the trendy/cutting edge/bleeding edge stuff out. More often than not it simply gets in way of telling the subject’s story by drawing attention to whatever the technique or software or camera is. It may be fun to do but more often than not it leaves the reader cold.