Storytelling in Street Photography

Storytelling is an essential feature in photography. We shoot to tell something and share it into the world. An image can be powerful on its own, but it also needs a background for the viewer to understand the image and put it into the context the photographer wants. Sometimes this task is very easy, when documenting conflicts, however most of the time we have to “write” the story we see in it. I like Street Photography because it allows me to imagine what the subjects I am photographing were, are or will be doing, who they are and what kind of story they may have behind and upfront in the future. I think this behaviour is innate to human nature; we want to see what others do and create situations and feelings into the subjects we view.

All of that is what comes to my mind when I photograph people in the streets like the image above. An old couple, spending their day at the beach covered by the shadows of their umbrella, the gentleman in the scene touching his wife’s back in a sign of love, trust and care. Seeing such a meaningful scene made me wonder about their youth, and if they ever thought they will still love each other at an older age. I imagined them when they met, probably during the Spanish Dictatorship in the 60’s. At that time, beginning a relationship was a lot different from nowadays. It wasn’t even allowed to hold hands in public if the couple wasn’t married. I think of them, young and in love, raising their children and growing old together. Time passing by; but their love for each other remaining intact.

That subtle gesture, so simple and yet so powerful, made me wonder how my generation sees and feels love and if we will ever be able to build such a strong relationship to last for years. In the world we are living in, where we are emotionally disconnected from each other despite being “connected” 24/7, this image gives me hope and a reason to follow their steps.

 

This is a short story I wrote for a contest submission. It’s a great exercise to do as a photographer and artist, diving deeply into what the photographs alone mean and the impact they can have on someone. I am not a writer, but I believe in the importance of putting thoughts into words to remember them and developing other sides of the creative process.

“Photography helps people to see” – Berenice Abbott