Some lessons can only be learned in person. There is no substitution for hanging ones work on a wall and interacting with your audience; more can be learned in a few short minutes than months on Instagram. The biggest take away from this experience for me, was the importance of stories.
I know for some people (Avanaut for example), stories are second nature and an integral part of the viewing experience. I myself have always tended to take a more subtle approach and used quotes to give an image a twist and added depth. But I may have to reassess this strategy going forward. The audience that we had the privilege of interacting with was hungry for the story of the image, the back story, a glimpse of the magic.
I want to stress that this does not necessarily mean they want to know exactly how the photo was taken; I heard from more than one source that hearing too much about the making of an image took away from the magic and joy of a particular photograph. There is a fine line the artist must learn to walk that is sharing information, but never so much that the viewers response is compromised. This is only something that can be learned by talking with your audience, in person.
So as I move forward with this crazy LEGO photography project I am going to have to learn to better incorporate stories into my photography.
Luckily I have some wonderful examples to emulate, including Avanaut and tomorrow’s guest poster.