How To Take Portraits That Tell Stories

We know the famous saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well to put it into practice, I decided to take some portraits to tell parts of well known stories.

NaomiSweet-PortraitsThatTellStories NaomiSweet-PortraitsThatTellStories

When taking the portraits, it’s important to focus on the person’s facial expression. The face is the window to the soul, and when read correctly, the story is seen there.

In the first image, I had the model hold her hood close to her face and look behind her shoulder to portray fear and awareness. I decided to take the picture from a lower angle to capture the cloudy sky and leaves of the forest. It gives the picture a gloomier feel, and gives a lot of space to the image.

In the second image, I had the model look directly at the camera. With the aux light to the right, it gives the portrait a “deer in the headlights” look. However, by having her bring her chin up and roll her shoulders back, she comes across as having a strong character.



This was a fun photoshoot to do! Elphaba from the musical “Wicked” is one of the most misunderstood characters. In reality, she wasn’t always wicked, and her character is very complicated. Elphaba isn’t some sort of evil monster, but she becomes so apathetic in her later years that she simply stops trying hard to be good. It’s this sort of attitude, combined with her weirdness and her already harsh personality that pushes toward becoming the Wicked Witch.


With this last image, I decided to take a closeup shot of the guitarist just to show his hand on the strings. I love the saying, “His heart is written on the strings of his guitar.”


It is my hope that I can always tell stories with the portraits that I take. As you look for portraits that tell stories, see what message the photographer is trying to portray, and the photograph will all of a sudden hold a deeper meaning.

Here’s a great article if you would like to read more about this!



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