Yes – that is the strangest title for a blog post I have ever written. But stay with me. There’s a genuine point here.
When I talk about “storytelling” instead of picture taking, I am trying to convey the concept in a way that causes photographers to stop, slow down and think about what they are actually trying to say with their photographs. It’s a recurring theme here and in all my teaching about photography because if you really want to be a great photographer, you must learn to tell stories with the camera.
So where does the country music come in?
Country music outsells ALL OTHER GENRES COMBINED!* That fact shocked me. I am not a huge country music fan. While I appreciate the musicianship and talent behind it, I’m more of a jazz guy. But I do listen to country music once in a while because the folks who create it are top-notch story tellers. It serves as a reminder to me that our work, like their work, should be nothing more than a vehicle for telling a story.
Look at the lyrics to a few songs by country music stars.
You should get the point. Country music is always more about the story behind the song than the cords or the instrumentation or the percussion. The music is so popular because it moves people. People identify with the stories and that causes them to identify with the song.
If you tell compelling stories with your camera, that will cause people to identify with your photos.
(*This is all-time recorded sales according to SoundScan. I added this note for the pedants out there.)