What Inspires You To Take A Photo?

What Inspires You To Take A Photo?

What Inspires You To Take A Photo? 366 222 Shlomi Ron

With everybody using their phones to snap photos, have you ever stopped to think what inspired you to stop and take that photo?

As visual storytellers, one of the most fun activities is to take photos using our phone. It’s convenient, immediate, and on-the-go.

I have recently talked about our unique superpower to use our mind to visualize future outcomes and then go ahead and pursue them.

From seeing ourselves entertaining in a rustic living room when house hunting, to testing a visual concept by feeding an AI image generator: “A couple having lunch on a Greek island with Pieter Bruegel style with rich blue background.”

The same visual power is also active when you walk down the street and for some reason decide to stop and snap a photo.

Ever wondered what makes you snap a photo?

Cloudy sky

I took this photo in the Tel Aviv Museum facade. The main focus was the unusual cloud formation that looks as if someone used a whipped cream dispenser to decorate the skies. I tend to take photos with a bright sun that often looks like a spaceship is about to land.


As you know storytelling is all about sharing a unique perspective. I often take photos where I tilt the camera angle (AKA Dutch Angle) to bring out new details. In this shot, the colorful texture of the boats stood out. You initially don’t understand what you’re looking at but if you tilt your head – it all becomes clear.

Common Myna

During one of my walks across a nearby river, I came across this bird (Common Myna) with an unusual Zorro eye mask in yellow. Great lesson that sometimes a minimal accessory can make a significant impact.


Sunny terrace

It’s early Saturday morning with soft peacefulness all around. I was basking in the sun in our rented apartment’s terrace. I liked the interplay between the physical blinds, the bright sun and the sharp shadow imprints on the table.

As you can see, every photo had a single protagonist or “attention magnet” that informed my decision to take the photo.

Often times, what you find appealing by just looking at it, looks even more majestic in the resulting photo as you have more time to explore every pixel.

I use analogies to inspire my imagination and then explore what could be the larger visual storytelling morale.

Over to you!

Next time you find yourself suddenly stopping in your tracks to take a photo, wait a minute. Then think:

  • What particular detail in the frame captured your attention?
  • What’s your purpose (e.g., inspire, educate, inform, entertain etc)?
  • How can you best use the photo for your ongoing stories?

For extra inspiration, check out my conversation with award-winning photographer, Jaime Permuth. We talked about What Makes A Photo Tell A Story?

Make sure to watch the video recording as it’s loaded with examples.

Feel free to comment below with your experiences if you’re a paid subscriber or by replying to this message. I’m curious to learn what drives your visual inspiration.

This was a sneak preview from my weekly Visual Storytelling Newsletter. Subscribe now and also receive a FREE copy of my Top 20 Visual Storytelling Tips Picture Book.

Shlomi Ron

Shlomi Ron is the founder and CEO of the Visual Storytelling Institute, a Miami-based think tank with a mission to bring the gospel of visual storytelling from the world of art to more human-centric and purpose-driven marketing. A digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience working both on the agency and brand sides for Fortune 100/500 brands such as Nokia, IBM, and American Express. He started VSI to combine his marketing expertise with his passion for visual stories stemming from his interests in classic Italian cinema and managing the estate of video art pioneer, Buky Schwartz. At VSI, he helps brands rise above the communication noise through visual storytelling consulting, training, and thought leadership. Select clients include Estée Lauder, Microsoft, and Cable & Wireless – to name a few. He currently teaches Brand Storytelling at the University of Miami’s Business School. Thought leader and speaker at key marketing conferences. He is also the host of the Visual Storytelling Today podcast, which ranks in the top 10 best business storytelling podcasts on the Web. His book: Total Acuity: Tales with Marketing Morals to Help You Create Richer Visual Brand Stories. Outside work, he is a nascent bread baker, The Moth fan, and longtime fedora wearer likely to jive with his classic Italian cinema interest.

All stories by: Shlomi Ron

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