How Creative Writing Can Improve Your Photography Portfolio

By Taissia Iv / September 1, 2017

“The world felt impossibly fragile back then. I spent months hiding from myself for fear of falling apart, for thousands of stars were sinking in my heart. Thousands of lights were weighing me down and lifting me up. The moon was my pillow in the endless darkness, in the aching absence of the sun. I tried to find a friend, or two, but there were none, none, none. I lived in a world large enough for only one. Then, one day, I encountered a door, and in it was a brand new realm. Nothing had ever felt so right, so wonderfully ideal. I swam for hours on end, hope giving me strength. At last, I found an island. My hope, by then, was so intense. I danced and sang and found a friend, a friend whose silence didn’t end. “Tell me, tell me, don’t stand still,” I begged. “Don’t bring me down, don’t break my heart again.” But the wind carried only an echo, only a mass of floating lights. All they wanted was a lonely voice to hide. This is where the ocean ends, where the broken ships of hope reside. This is where you went to find me, this is where my darkness died.”
by Taya Iv

Writing has been a vital part of my life for a while now. Like many others, I discovered its value through fiction. More specifically, I found my inspiration in second-hand books. Since my options were rarely overwhelming in number, I was often exposed to stories I would've initially ignored. (Spending time with all kinds of books for a long time tends to change one's mind quite successfully.) The more knowledge I found in these well-loved pages, the more ideas I absorbed. As I discovered a variety of deep characters, exhilarating plot twists, and intricate sentences that spoke volumes, my appreciation for storytelling and art began to increase exponentially. When photography became an important part of my life several years later, I was compelled to find unique ideas in creative writing.

You might not be a fan of either reading or writing, and that's more than okay. All I'd like to do is show you a part of my artistic life that has influenced me greatly. In doing so, I hope to encourage you to try out something new, even if it might not appeal to you at first. While it might be a given that stories and photographs go hand in hand, many people rarely give their inner storytellers a chance to speak. I hope this inspires you to give yours this valuable opportunity. It might change your perspective, transform your portfolio, or simply provide you with new information that might come in handy one day. Whatever it does, I hope it sparks something special within you.

by Clay Banks

Looking for Stories and Sharpening Your Curiosity

You don't need to be a bookworm, a movie buff, a gamer, or anything specific to truly appreciate the art of storytelling. Just be curious, even if you're going through a creative block. The beauty of creative writing lies in its fascinating ability to emerge in the most unlikely places. If your mind remains open, you will find something helpful and unique. For instance, I enjoy listening to a variety of podcasts, reading short stories, and watching interviews. Only some of these resources end up being photography-related; most of the time, they have nothing to do with photos and everything to do with storytelling and writing. However, I often find myself desiring to take photographs inspired by someone's opinion, speech, or attitude. I can never predict how a resource will help me, but by remaining open to diverse information, I find the most unexpected motivation to work on what I love.

Here are a few things you could research to find your unique inspiration:

  • Movie scripts
  • TED talks and lessons
  • Short stories (here is a Goodreads list of influential short stories worth reading)
  • Interviews with songwriters
  • Writing courses

by Grovemade

Writing Your Own Stories Before a Shoot

I'm not much of a planner when it comes to photoshoots. During any shoot, I succumb to my creative flow and swim away with spontaneity. However, writing stories for my images (or for photography in general) inspires me greatly. Since creative writing can be as abstract or as clear as you like, you don't have to be a meticulous planner to truly enjoy it. You can write about a feeling, a color, or an experience. It can be as cathartic or as simple as you desire, as long as it makes you feel something indescribable during the process. This indescribable feeling could metamorphose into a photography-related concept, take you by surprise during a shoot, or just push you to experiment with something new at one point or another.

You don't need to share your writings with anyone. You don't have to find the perfect words to describe a situation or a feeling. You aren't obligated to publish a book or call yourself a writer. Nobody has to know. Your desire to write might come and go, but as long as it makes you feel something unique when it's present, know that you're capable of transforming your photographs into artworks that are even more meaningful, creative, and empowering.

“My words began to come back to me. First in small promises, then in pages that flooded my room. I felt completely, deeply alive. It was akin to being told that you could live in the sea because finally, breathing underwater was possible. As my words busied themselves in my mind, I asked them why they left me, why they didn't have the courage to stay. They said:
“Every heart has an invisible lock. Every day, the heart's owner chooses whether to allow people into their heart or not. Sometimes they do this subconsciously, other times not. One day, we knocked on your heart's door and you refused to give us the key.”
All I had to do was open my heart. All along, they were lost because of me.”
by Taya Iv

Inspiring Websites to Boost Your Curiosity

by Laëtitia Buscaylet

About the author

Taissia Iv

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