There is no trick to Quotography, but as I’m sure many of you can attest, there are some quotes that are easier to put into images than others. We have decided to tell you a little bit about our process in the hopes that you, our fellow collaborators, can get something out of it! Remember, our way of doing it is not “the right” way to go about it…it’s just a discussion to get your wheels turning and the creativity flowing.
The best way to do this, I think, will be with some examples.
“In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away” – Shing Xiong
The first thing I do with most quotes is look for the obvious, tangible items in it. In this case, I could try to do something with breath…maybe frosty breath on a cold morning…something along those lines. However, I don’t think that would really illustrate the message Shing Xiong is trying to convey. Instead, I would focus on the ‘moments’ portion of the quote.
‘Moments’ could be something with clocks or watches. Maybe a clock involved in an image of something I value. A watch on a couple holding hands or kissing?
However, to me, this quote is special enough that I would want to do better than a first obvious thought. If this were my quote, I would be inclined to do a photo involving other photos of special moments. Maybe a photo of polaroids spread out on a table? Or a photo of a scrapbook. Photos are my favorite way to remember important moments, so it would be an ideal way to both illustrate the quote while still communicating my personal values.
It’s funny Shannon should pick this quote for us to brainstorm on as an example, because we actually reference it quite a bit with the Charity I work for, so I already have a strong connection to its message.
When approaching quotography, I typically go either one of two ways. First would be to try and pull elements from the actual quote and arrange them in a way that would make for a complimenting image. The other is to try and visualize what the overall message is of the quote and work on capturing an image of that idea, which at times has no particular element from the quote included in the imagery.
Given my relationship with this quote I would definitely go for capturing the idea of unforgettable moments over the elements, which could go in multiple directions. The romantic in me would shoot a well dressed man on one knee asking for his soon to be fiance’s hand in marriage, while she was beginning to weep tears of joy as he presents the sizable rock he has patiently saved up for over the last year. However, the charitable figure in me would shoot more of a reaction to a front row experience at a concert or event. The outrageously energetic cheers as a favorite band comes on stage or the fainting girl as her dream guy rockstar gives a gesture of recognizing her existence. Even a shot of a the winning marathon runner breaking through the ribbon at the end of the course, both hands in the air celebrating a hard earned victory while moments later he will surely be too exhausted to hardly even move. Each of these unforgettable experiences would play in perfectly to the overall message of this quote.
Some quotes are more difficult to apply imagery to…
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
I briefly thought about doing something with a globe, but again that’s an obvious portrayal and I feel, inaccurate. This quote makes me think of someone who leads by example, such as Mother Theresa of Martin Luther King, Jr. They epitomized the idea of large change with non-violent methods. Obviously, I wouldn’t be able to take a photo of those particular examples, but there are humanitarian efforts all around us. The trick is to recognize them.
Some ideas that come to mind are involved as photographs representing a cause, or as simple as catching a random act of kindness. In my mind, both would tell a story of gentle change.
This is another instance where I would go for the imagery of the idea behind, which in my mind would be small actions can have large impacts.
Imagery wise, I would probably go for something simple to compliment the quotes easy nature. Perhaps a image of some youth out in the middle of town holding up a “Free Hugs” sign (which if you have never done yourself, I would highly suggest it! Its a very rewarding experience to see the impact a simple hug can make to someones day), with a recent hug receiver walking away with a huge grin on their face. Or even better yet a couple elderly ladies walking away giggling about the handsome young teens that they just received hugs from. Even something simple like a shot of someone tossing their plastic cup and paper bags in the recycle bin rather than the trash.
Notice that neither example necessarily ran with the exact wording of the quote, but captured the essence of the ideas expressed.. however, you could just as easily run with the elements in the quote, using gently and the world within your imagery. Its completely up to you how you approach it, as we said, there is no right or wrong way to go about this project, as long as you get the creative juices flowing. Our intention is that by seeing our methods, you may be able to shape your own creative process.
If you have any questions, or just need someone to bounce ideas off of, please don’t hesitate to contact us: Shannon (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nick (email@example.com)!
The most important part of this project is that you HAVE FUN!!!! There will be no judging, only celebration of creativity when this is all said and done. We look forward to seeing all of your creative results as well as show casing our own!!