Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.
Pritti Saggi - Founder of Bedfordshire based charity Creating Memories. Assistant: Anna Wieczorek. ©Rob Johns. All rights reserved.
Storytelling is as old as language itself. Earliest cave paintings date back to at least 45,500 years in Indonesia. Our brains are hard wired for narrative but we're only just beginning to understand why.
Stories add meaning to life. They inform, educate, entertain and move us. Visual storytelling is particularly effective, it is universal and memorable.
Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill in business.
Businesses are waking up to the incredible power of storytelling and beginning to use it as an effective marketing tool.
Storytelling is engaging, relateable, memorable and authentic meaning you have a better chance of standing out in the increasingly noisy digital world we live in.
Storytelling gives your brand personality. Customers engage with you because they relate to your story. They not only like what you do BUT how and why you do it. More importantly, they want to be a part of that and that’s where brand loyalty begins.
Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.
For me, photography has always been about storytelling. It's what inspired me to take up photography in the first place and led to me to the University of the Arts London to study photojournalism. I wanted to tell stories and engage audiences.
For all businesses, a powerful portrait remains the foundation of storytelling and it's what I particularly enjoy.
A powerful portrait defines who the story is about, the main character or hero of the story and what their message is.
A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.
Key to the success of a visually engaging portrait is the pre-production process where the initial idea is fine-tuned; the look, the feel, the emotion and the story. Locations are finalised and permissions sought if necessary. This is vital for a successful shoot.
Have a look at the portrait gallery to see my work. They're all environmental portraits from commissioned shoots by newspapers, magazines, agencies or directly by clients.
There are also a few portraits shot remotely, something I've been exploring during lockdown. Remote photography is created using the client's mobile phone while not actually being present. It's a bit like a Zoom meeting but for photography.
Note, I wasn’t actually at the same location as the client but shooting and directing using a special app, sat in my office over 200 miles away.
One of the virtual portraits is featured below. Look out for others in the gallery.
If you have any questions, get in touch for a chat.
Clemency Wright - Metadata and keywording consultant. Virtual portrait made using the client's mobile from over 200 miles away. ©Rob Johns. All rights reserved.
4 Steps to a Professional Storytelling Portrait
If you're ready for a professional portrait to help tell your story, I can help.
Step 1 - Consultation - free 30 minute telephone consultation to assess your needs.
Step 2 - Pre-production - planning all the elements necessary for your portrait.
Step 3 - Production - this is the actual shoot. BONUS: you don't have to worry about the stress of travel. I'm a Bedford based photographer, I come to you so you can relax in comfortable, familiar surroundings with everything to hand for a successful shoot.
Step 4 - Post-production - All images are processed and supplied as high resolution and web optimised jpeg files in landscape and/ or upright format.