Narrative photography is all about creating a story with visuals. The term “photo essay” is used to describe a series of images that tell a story or evoke a particular emotion. Images that are a part of this series should stand alone and still evoke the emotion you’re trying to convey.
Narrative photography can be linear or non-linear. Linear presents a story in chronological order moving in a logical order from one photo to the next. It’s similar to a written essay which as an introduction, a body and a conclusion.
On the other hand, non linear narratives use a theme and there isn’t a particular sequence they need to be shown in.
For the non-linear photography series I looked into Enri Canaj’s series The Wind Cries War. The non-linear flow of this series allowed Canaj to explore a more broad and vast array of people who journeyed from Turkey to Greece. If he had followed something linear, for example, following on character and their journey, the series may not have spoken to us with such volume.
Canaj, E. (n.d.). The Wind Cries War. Retrieved from http://www.enricanaj.com/the-wind-cries-war
Linear Photography Series
For the linear series I looked into Diana Markosian who’s known for her ambiguity throughout her series to provoke curiosity. Markosian’s series follows a boy in The Big Sea. The structure of the series is chronological in telling the story.
Markosian, D. (n.d.). The Big Sea. Retrieved from http://www.dianamarkosian.com/the-big-sea