Creative Choices: Why Visual Storytelling Is So Important? (Shapes Studio - Visual Storytelling) | SMart Choice Lifestyle

The most important images are the ones infused with emotion. The ones that make us remember the day, the person, how we felt and what our thoughts were. Those are the images that tell our story.

How many times we looked at a beautiful image that we knew almost nothing about? It was just a beautiful image. When it’s infused with stories, it comes alive. It shines and speaks. It takes shape.

I was always surrounded by photography as legacy, as something to cherish and pass on, as a means to remember stories, people, feelings. A time machine. I constantly browsed through my parent’s wedding photos, through my grandma and great-grandma’s photo boxes and I came up with lots of love. Love for them, their stories and photography.

My maternal great-grandmother had portraits of her mum and dad, of her six daughters and of all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She cherished them all. On the walls, in the wooden box she had in one of her bedrooms. She loved keeping people, loved ones alive in her mind and in front of her eyes. She loved looking at us as we were her legacy, her creation and most cherished possession. She loved us and we loved her.

My maternal grandma, her daughter, had her walls filled with pictures of us - her own daughters and granddaughters. During my summer vacations, I remember frequently looking at them and thinking about how times were back then, how young we all were and most importantly, how loved. In her master bedroom she had a picture of my late grandfather, her husband. The picture portrayed him as a young man in his 20’s or 30’s, very well groomed and presentable.

Back then there were no sloppy photos, only posed and emotionless portraits, framed up the wall. I kept wondering what his life was like the day he went to take that picture, what was he feeling? Then there were the family photos, taken outside, picturing them having fun, sharing summer days, winter days and many other moments of happiness. And they all had a story.

There was also the shoe-box. The photographs-filled shoe-box. The stories in there made up for hours and hours of talking with and listening to my grandma revive times that had gone by, remembering herself, remembering my mother’s childhood, remembering me and all in between. The stories wouldn’t have been the same without pictures, without portraits. Having an actual image of the people she was telling me about gave life, color and shape to what I was imagining. It made it more real, more human, it brought it closer and helped make a connection.

I grew up with the knowledge that stories and images bring people together and create a bond that can’t ever be broken. Things in life change, people get old and die. It’s the way this world works. But the stories remain. The emotions stay alive. You can always remember something, but memories fade away, you forget details that made you happy, you forget colors and feelings. They fade away with time. A photograph brings those stories back up sharp and in full detail. You can fully remember. You feel it again. It’ all coming back.

The years went by and we didn’t take so many photographs. At least not of us as a family. I took many pictures of my grandma, but I’m not present in any of them. The only two pictures I have with the two of us are the ones we made back when I was one. The thing that I remember most vividly about her was that warm smile she had on whenever we were around. One evening, as I was going back home and saying goodbye, as she laid in bed, she looked at me with her bright blue eyes and said: “You’ll miss me when I’m gone, won’t you?”. And then we smiled at eachother and said goodbye. A few years ago, she passed away at 78. I will cherish those pictures for a lifetime. I had them printed and now they’re displayed on my walls. She filled my life with stories and now I’m going to help fill your lives with them too.

Shapes Studio - Visual Storytelling is bringing together what I love doing most: hearing/telling stories and taking pictures of people. Stories of you and your loved ones. Visual stories. Portrait photography.

I’ve spent my entire life listening to other’s stories and learning from them. We all have limited lives, with a limited set of choices. But we can learn a whole lot more if we just listen. Hear out other people’s stories so that we can have more choices and thus learn more, live more. Create visual stories that keep the lessons alive, the memories alive.

This is my “WHY”. I want to gift this kind of experiences to you. Time slips by and you’ll want to keep the people you love close to you forever. Portrait photography keeps memories alive, keeps loved ones alive in your heart. Family is important. Feelings are important. Relationships matter.

Exist in photos. Remember them and let them remember you. Every portrait has a story. Let me tell yours.

Sincerely yours,

Thank you for taking time to read this post. Read the previous one in the Creative Choices series HERE and HERE.

The following months we'll go deeper into what it takes to become stronger: body, mind and spirit. To become the architect of your wished lifestyle.

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