Sequence Storytelling

Storytelling Through Sequences – Not Single Photos

Rather than cover a scene with a single shot and then move on as other photographers would, I build each scene through several photos. It’s a very natural form of storytelling, yet no one else tells wedding stories this way. No one! That’s because thinking in sequences is not always intuitive to many still photographers, but it’s a style of storytelling that’s very natural and really sets me apart.

Sometimes a sequence is just two photos. Sometimes it is six or eight. And, other times a single frame conveys the story best. There is no magic formula, it’s all about intuition and experience.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:

Barrow-54Here’s the first time Jenna’s dad sees her in her wedding dress. The first image establishes the setting and the characters. We’ve got some lovely interaction between Mom and Dad, helping us understand a little about how important this moment is to them.




Barrow-55Next we see the action: Dad turns and is stunned by his daughter’s beauty. You could NEVER pose a smile that was more proud or more excited.





Barrow-59 Barrow-56The next two images are the reaction. They’re smaller and closer together to imply relative importance in the whole story.







Next comes the archway photo. That the tears have started to flow is both action and reaction at the same time. This is a particularly strong photo of an emotional moment. It could stand well on its own, but the previous images help us understand this moment much better.




Barrow-61Finally, we have a little epilogue: Dad recovers as his daughter heads toward the waiting car and her husband-to-be. This image really touches me. Yet it is presented smaller than the rest as a quiet coda, an echo of the scene we’ve just experienced.






What a moment! Any single photo is strong enough to be seen by itself. In fact, the second to the last with bride and father under the archway is particularly strong and earned its own blog post. But the real power comes when we view these as a series, more touching than any single image by itself.