Musings on Photography, Storytelling & Life


Raj Lalwani ponders over why the act of recounting an anecdote is much like making a picture.

This article was originally uploaded in October 2014.

When was the last time that you told someone a story? Just sat down, face to face, and spoke to them about a time gone by? The last time that you raced through memory as you spun your yarn, creating a fresh memory in the process?

Storytelling is a little like baring your soul. It is an intensely cathartic experience, as you look back in time, pull out some memories, put some together, and try to create time. Maybe, just maybe, the experience of narrating the story is more exciting than the experience of the experience.

Photography is just as subjective as storytelling, and perhaps, a little more thrilling. When you are making up a story at the spur of the moment, you don’t know what lies ahead. Only when we reveal one twist, do we know the next turn. Photography is much the same. You never know when your next picture is on its way.

Storytelling, in today’s day and age, largely happens through photography. Every moment that we photograph, be it a personal snapshot or a place we document, is a part of our overall story, a missing piece in the giant jigsaw of our lives.

The last time you told someone a story, did you stop halfway through, just to build some excitement? Every moment within the story can be a pause in itself, a pause that can go either way. Every time we pause, the listener will wonder what will happen next. And every time we pause, we may wonder where to take the story right after.

Maybe this is what they mean by the indecisive moment.

Every story is like a photograph. It is our vision that colours it, our voice that gives it direction, our point of view that shapes the way we see it. Our way of seeing is what defines our photography. And whatever may be the actual turn of events, the story is in its telling.

Tags: Raj Lalwani, storytelling, opinion, November 2014