The Storyteller

by Mayor Otu 

What is Storytelling?

Storytelling is communicating emotions that people can easily see, feel and relate with. It is the ability to share values with people in their learning language and hoping that they will remember it like a nursery rhyme. It is about giving a voice to people, places or issues in photos, written words and videos.

Most often than not, organizations use images from events/meetings they organized or participated but these pictures often do not work because they lack emotions. I know in your defense you will say, that’s the situation on the ground, that’s all I have, I can’t pay someone to create images for me since it’s a non profit. But you won’t help these communities either with the kind of images (content) you put out. Good Storytelling requires our ability to tell compelling stories with EMOTIONS that people can relate with.

How to create emotion filled Images. 

  1. Tell an authentic story. 
  2. Be truthful as possible.
  3. Make images from a viewpoint of compassion and not a place of Ego. But whhat does ego mean? See @seantucker video on this topic.
  4. Understand that stories aren’t about you but about the people you’re photographing. It’s not about photographing SUBJECTS but their HUMANITY, then sharing them with other people who may not be able to reach these people’s struggles.

I always tell photographers that the reason why my IMAGES are so intimate is because I don’t go to my subjects as a photographer but as a human.

Being human ensures that we learn to listen. Listening is an act that involves using the ear, eyes, heart, mind, giving undiluted attention to the subject. Do not use your camera to hide that humanity. Putting oneself into the image makes your storytelling have emotions.

  1. Your Images must be simple enough to be understood at first glance but also intriguing enough for people to stop and ask questions.

Always know that a Single image can change the world – This is Key! If you are compassionate while doing it, it will show in your storytelling. Let your storytelling make people not sleep until they do something about it! 

  1. A great picture is knowing WHERE TO STAND!

This is simple but it is very important! It’s not enough to have passion to save the world, you must be a great storyteller to be able to achieve that goal.  In conclusion, understanding this short but important piece of information will help you in making better decisions, with respect to the images,videos and the message shared to the public. All of these points come together to make your values relate-able!

MAYOR OTU is a StoryTeller, a photographer, a filmmaker and a writer.
IG @mayorotu