Travel Photography Tip: The Three-Picture Story

image Because pictures are my favorite travel souvenir, I’m consistently on a quest to better my photography. I seek out lessons and tips that not only teach me the basics but hopefully challenge the way I think about the pictures I’m taking as well. This past week I was intrigued by a new concept I learned called the three-picture story, taught by Michelle Weber at The Daily Post. The concept is a technique where you set up a series of pictures to tell a story photographically.


How many time have you seen a close-up picture of some interesting artwork in the foam on top of a cup of coffee? This is photographed frequently highlighting the talent and creativity of the artist, however it doesn’t tell us where the coffee came from or show the detail it took to make it. Instead you could have one picture of the place the coffee was purchased, another of the person actually doing the artwork and then the close up of the top of the coffee. By doing this you’re capturing an entire experience for someone who wasn’t there. That’s an example of a three-picture story using photography.

Enthusiastic about this concept and anxious to apply it, I decided to walk around downtown San Francisco with only my camera and no agenda. San Francisco is full of hills and my feet were killing me at the end of the day, but it was worth it. It’s a colorful-eclectic city and this was such an interesting concept to play with. Know if only I could master lighting, I’d be a happy camper. Here are a few ways I applied the three-picture story concept.

Group 1. The first picture shows something fun going on at the entrance to Union Square. The second shows a closer look at a band interacting with the crowds that stopped to listen. The third is a close-up of the drummer in action. Had you only seen the last picture of the drummer you wouldn’t have understood where I was or felt how much fun the band and crowd were having.

Created with oQey Gallery

Group 2. This is another entrance to Union Square where a brightly painted heart caught my attention. The second picture is people admiring the artwork and the third is a close-up of the heart showing the artists work in more detail. Again, had you only seen the last picture you wouldn’t have had an understanding of where this piece of art was or that people other than myself found it interesting. This heart, painted by a local artist Emma Webster, is called Bloodlines. It’s one of many hearts painted and placed around the city for the annual San Francisco General Hospital Foundation Benefit.
Created with oQey Gallery

Group 3. The ever busy Little Paradise Market in China Town on the corner of Jackson and Stockton. First you see a broad view of the market and everyone crossing the street. Then a closer look shows how many of those people ended up at Little Paradise while the last picture is the close-up of goods being sold.
Created with oQey Gallery

While I know I’ll still be taking random pictures of things that interest me, like the artwork on top of my latte, this has definitely opened my eyes to another way of photographing my travels. I think this method will also make sharing my pictures with all of you more meaningful.

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