Story Telling

Now that I am producing both still imagery and video, I am trying to find the right word or title that I can call myself. I’m not just a photographer anymore, yet I really hate the word videographer. I’ve come up with a couple of words like “hybrid” and “visionographer” but still can’t quite find that right word.

And then I realized who I am. I’m a storyteller. I tell the story through visuals and sound and motion. Storyteller – a simple name for a person who has played that role since human beings began telling their story by painting on cave walls.

I love the story – beyond anything else – beyond the toys and the tools. It’s in my blood – it’s what has always motivated me and inspired. It’s why I became a photographer. It’s why I needed to learn video. Both were essential in telling my stories.

I must say that almost every magazine story I ever shot, what I loved most was connecting with people and listening to their stories. Perhaps I should have been a writer but I was more comfortable with my visual ideas and always felt a loss for the right words to express them.

When I think of all the movies that I’ve seen, the ones that really stay with me, have one thing in common – they tell a good story. A film can have all the special effects in the world but if it doesn’t have a good tale – it’s nothing beyond the packaging and fizz.

So the next time someone asks me what I do – I know what I will say – I’m a storyteller.


3 Replies to “Story Telling”

  1. I completely understand. I have had the same problem over the years. Like you I really dislike the title of videographer. Personally, I would choose to describe myself as a photojournalist, Unfortunately that creates too much confusion for people.

    For at least three years I used a title I created, “dvjournalist.” But I eventually dropped that name because few people knew what it meant and I finally decided it didn’t really fit me. Of course, today the choice is easier for me as a small business owner. My company, Protege Films creates documentary films so, today I call myself a documentary filmmaker.

    But there is one more title worth considering because it fits pretty much everything we do – producer.

    I like the title story-teller but for some reason it always conjures up images of some old guy with a white beard and cowboy boots tugging at his coveralls as he tells “stories” to an audience. Yikes. Nonetheless, I suppose no one ultimately cares anyway as long we produce great stories.

    Nice blog and, by the way, I kind of dig that visionographer thing. 😉


    David Leeson

  2. Hi Gail,
    I love the post! I like the name “storyteller”. You’ve always been a true original for as long as I’ve known you and there’s no reason for you to ever change. Keep sharing your voice and your vision. I for one appreciate them both!

    Have a great day!


  3. I really like the name ‘storyteller’. This is a great title for someone who uses an arsenal of different mediums to get his message across whether it be photography, videography, painting, comic books or the written word.

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