Storytelling Through Photography

I have to admit... when I started my photography LLC 12 years ago I envisioned myself as a commissioned artist who would create very intentional storytelling photographic pieces for people's homes. While I of course knew I’d do the typical photo sessions like family photos and senior photos and the works, I anticipated I’d market myself as more of a fine art photographer creating heirloom wall art … pieces that have a little bit of a Norman Rockwell feel… pieces that are meant to be matted and framed as works of art, not buried on a flash drive… pieces that are meaningful and personal and unique and make a person stop and want to know the full story. Well, as life would have it, I never actually marketed myself that way. I never actually sought the client who shared that same desire for an heirloom storytelling piece to adorn their home. Instead, I went into full-swing photo sessions. I am not disappointed in the direction I have taken my business, but commissioned storytelling is my heart. Photography as art. Photography as a story. Photography as decor.

As I continue the process of rebranding this year having changed my business name finally from Angela Isom Portraiture to Angela Greisen Portraits, I’ve been taking the time to consider where I started and where I am now. I started thinking about what drew me into photography as I drifted away from the field of teaching. I started looking at my early work and I noticed that most of what I did toward the beginning of my photography career was very intentional and very personal. There was nothing common about it. I pulled out this image which I printed on canvas board many many years ago and found myself feeling a little ashamed as an artist for ignoring my muse. It’s only just now eight years later that I have had this image framed.

This is Caesar and my daughter Elly who had a complicated relationship at the time. Caesar was a puppy who had a taste for all things stuffed and had his eye on Elly’s favorite stuffed kitty for some time. The composition is manipulated as a composite with my camera on a tripod. First, Caesar was shamed in the corner, and then later Elly was brought in with the fake carnage (no kitties were actually harmed in the making of this image). Elly did an adorable job of burying her face in her hands to look sad. The end result was a composite of it all seamlessly put together. I love it because it’s interesting and meaningful and personal. I love it because it was conceptualized and birthed.

This is what I’d love to do for clients. This is where I started. With that said, if you want to have a deeper conversation about a photographic piece that’s more than a Christmas card photo, I’m your artist. If you don’t know what that type of image would even be, let’s have coffee. It’s possible the inspiration might be as simple as the chipped teacup that once belonged to your grandma or your Bible that’s used and worn and fallen to pieces. Inspiration is everywhere.


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