Have you done any people watching lately? The first time we looked at Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. Last time we examined a 1930s Charles Walton photograph. Today’s picture is a different flavor altogether.
Aside from knowing that a picture is worth 1000 words, a picture evokes 1000 stories.
If I showed a picture to a dozen students and told them to write a story based on it, I got a dozen unique and varied responses.
If I did this with 1000 students, guaranteed, they’d each have a different combination of character interactions, dialogs, motives, and plots.
As I’ve said before, I revel in this creative diversity. And we each inherently have this innovative ability because we’re made in God’s image. See “Chickens at the State Fair.”
Whether you’re a story writer or not, your own creativity can shine with a little people watching.
This time, we’ll take a look at a photograph taken by photographer and future blog guest, Elmer Sparks.
What story is being suggested?
Take a few minutes to just immerse yourself in this picture. Then think about these questions. There are no right or wrong answers! You’re calling the shots.
• What is going on here? What are they talking about?
• What is the setting (approximate time, date, and place)?
• What are the relationship dynamics among them? Are they friends? Relatives?
• What is the girl on the left thinking?
• What is the girl on the right thinking?
• What is the guy thinking?
• What is the tone/mood/atmosphere of this particular day?
• What brought these people to this point in their lives (one or all)?
• Who is the main character (protagonist)?
• What are their personalities? (one or all)
• What are their moods?
• What is a typical day like for them?
• How often do they sit here and have a meal together?
• What do they aspire to?
• Where do they wish they were instead?
So many story possibilities! All in one picture.
So . . . how would YOU answer some of the questions above about this picture? What story do you see unfolding . . . and whose story is it?
I welcome your comments below!
P.S. Coming next: Meet Elmer Sparks, a man who excels at photography and bluegrass music!