Short Stories

As the mobile phone with camera becomes more common, it opens even more opportunities to capture those special moments that will become a part of our families’ history. Sure, we all know how to take a picture and email it or post it on Facebook, but isn’t it time to learn how to use these tools so we can do more than just take a picture. We need to look at these devices as tools for telling a story.

Look around and you’ll find lots of inspiration. National Geographic has taught geography to generations of children just with photos and captions. How many times has a photo caught your eye, then the caption grabbed your interest to the point that you actually read the article? Even when it didn’t, they still managed to give you a lot of interesting information in that simple caption.

Barrett Bathing Beauties

What better way for the Barrett girls to show off their new high heels from Grandma than posing as bathing beauties in a swimsuit contest. What if Mom had an iPhone and the Internet to share moments like these with Dad when he was at sea?

Instead of posting your photos to Facebook, consider posting them to a photo-sharing site like Flickr. Why? Flickr stores full-sized images along with the metadata embedded by your camera – including geo-codes identifying where the photo was taken. Using the free Flickr app [iOS and Android – free], you can capture live events and share them immediately. Both the desktop and mobile apps give you the ability to add titles and descriptions then easily forward copies to Facebook, Twitter, email and blogs with little effort. Spend your effort writing a caption. Don’t think of it as a chore – documenting date, place and people. The camera’s already taken care of two out of three of those tasks for you. Think of it as a short story like those you found so fascinating in National Geographic.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but with a good caption it becomes a story. And a collection of stories can then become a family history.