Santa Fe New Mexico Family and Children Photographer – David Moore» Blog Archive » A young girl’s adventure – digital storytelling revisited

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This is the photography blog for photographer and writer David Moore. He's based in Santa Fe, New Mexico but speaks with a funny accent.


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    January 17th, 2012

    A young girl’s adventure – digital storytelling revisited

    We take photographs of our children for one main reason – to capture memories of the people we love. Images help us remember what they were like when they’re all grown up and living half a world away (like me – sorry, Mum).

    Most of our memories get spun into stories – “Remember the time, when . . .?’ we ask each other, and the story we tell puts our loved one in context, as their actions reveal more about them.

    And so while photos are a great way to trigger these stories, there are other techniques that can incorporate photos and also deepen the experience as well. Recently, I’ve been thinking more and more about different types of digital storytelling.

    Just looking at individual photographs on our screens doesn’t fulfill all the potential current technology offers, and we don’t get a narrative flow that adds up to more of a story. Printed albums work because the images build on each other, and have a rhythm that is more rewarding for the person looking at them.

    Digital productions with images, music, voiceovers and video can have a similar and even richer effect, and are becoming ever easier to do. There’s not even a good word for what these things are – slideshows, multimedia pieces . . . but whatever you call them, I’m becoming increasingly convinced they are a valuable tool.

    A while ago, I produced this video of my daughter answering some questions, interspersed with some images. It was simple but I think it worked pretty well.

    I’m still finding my way in producing these, but as another experiment, this time I went out with my daughter on an ‘explore’ in the arroyos and hillsides in our neighborhood. Where normally I might just grab the camera, shoot some stills and let them sit on my hard drive or post a few to Flickr for the family, this time I was intent on shooting some video as well as stills, and putting it together into a little package – that you can play above (if you haven’t already).

    The video I shot is pretty ropey – the 5D Mark 2 produces excellent quality, but it’s only as good as the shaky-handed poor-focussing person holding it, but for something casual like this, I’m not too fussed. For real paying work I’d have it locked down on a tripod with a good microphone attached.

    There are new skills to learn in creating this sort of work, of course. Some are technical – importing and editing video, dropping in music and stills – but the harder skills involve getting a sense for pacing and balance. How to tell a story well in this new medium.

    But I can see plenty of uses for this approach – from children and family shoots, where you include some video too, through to commercial sessions, where you’re building a welcome video for the client’s site with some interview footage, music, video and stills.

    Let me know your thoughts on this type of package, especially if you’ve tried it yourself. I’d love to see some good examples, too.



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