Based on the idea that “every picture tells a story,” we here at Grryo feature a photo of particular interest each week on our Instagram account. Chosen from thousands of submissions tagged to our page each month, the four most interesting are chosen for the unspoken story they tell. All viewers are invited to stop by and leave a few lines (or many) to tell the story as they see it through their eyes. We call this collaborative feature between photographer and writer, “Storytellers.”
At the end of the month, our intrepid Moderators select their four favorite stories to be published along with the photos right here on our website.
Now, without further ado, Grryo is proud to present our January 2018 Storyteller collaborations.
1. “Hey Lady” … Tell us what you think this woman may be thinking.
Photo by: @raveninrye
Story by: @5luckydogsandbird
Posted: January 3, 2018
“OMG! Is that the first man bun he’s holding up there?”
2. “Life On the Other Side of the Window” … Tell us what this photo’s story is telling you.
Photo by: @coblephotography
Story by: @sunny.owen.photography
Posted: January 10, 2018
“The young apprentice has searched years for the old wise woman so she can study the ancient arts. Spying her in a tea shop, she wonders how best to approach.”
3.“On the Subway” … This photo has a story to tell. What is it?
Photo by: @grace.brignole
Story by: @dmreidmd
Posted: January 17, 2018
“We were two girls in love and we didn’t mind if the whole damn world knew it. Simple as that. Well, maybe not that simple. But I knew I loved her and she said she loved me, and one day, soon maybe, we would talk to our parents. Until then we would ride this train til it stopped.”
4. “Nostalgia” … Tell us the story behind this story.
Photo by: @titika.ink
Story by: @arianatrinneer
Posted on: January 24, 2018
“In the silence of the early morning she had called out to him … sent her ache through silver threads of energy into the lightening sky … Haunt me, she prayed. Haunt me. Today, at the edge of the sea she could feel his eyes pressing upon her. It was all she could do to not turn around and break the spell.”
Well, that’s all for this month. We hope you enjoyed our Followers’ interpretations of these wonderful photos. Join us in February for our next edition of Storytellers. A big thank you to all our photographers and writers who participated.
I Am My Mother’s Daughter: My Journey in Photography
My love affair with photography began with my mother. It was not love at first sight. My mother was always taking pictures. Always. Her camera held permanent residence in her handbag, and our lives were put on instant play-pause whenever she was inspired to take a shot, which was often. As a young child, I never thought about this as her passion, but only as an assigned pose to be endured for as long as it took for her to rummage through her purse to find the camera, get the camera out of its case and then get the shot she was looking for. Full disclosure: I was not in the least bit cooperative. However, I was eventually pulled in by all the photos she took, and I began, not only to appreciate them, but to look at them with a more critical eye. I never offered outright (what I thought of as) constructive criticism of my mother’s photos (an action that would have resulted in any number of unpleasant outcomes…. as a very good-looking and somewhat spoiled woman, my mother was more than a bit vain in all areas of her life).
In my mind, I might have been thinking, she should have turned us more towards the light, or away from the light or taken a few steps forward or backward. My interest was piqued, and for my 8th birthday, my mother bought me a Brownie camera of my own.
Of course, at first, I began shooting any subject that was close at hand: including my hand, my dolls, my clothes, my record player, my dresser, my closet door, dust bunnies under my bed, whatever struck my young fancy. In those pre-digital days, I was allowed two rolls of film and one pack of flash bulbs per month, as the film, flash bulbs, developing and printing all had to be paid for out of pocket. I quickly learned to become more selective in my photographic endeavors as not to waste those important resources on frivolous subjects. Time passed, my cameras became more sophisticated, I took classes, I poured over photography books by the masters and I discovered that photography was as much a passion for me as it had been for my mother.
Fast forward a good number of years, into the digital age of cameras. No longer was I bound by the constraints of finance: I could take as many pictures as my memory card would hold! It was a wonderful thing, very freeing. I could take more photos, more photos than I ever had in my entire life. I could experiment more, the possibilities were endless. The drawback, at least as far as my family may be concerned, is that the circle was unbroken: I had now become my mother, only more so. Someone closed their eyes? Delete and retake! Is the composition a bit off or the light not quite right? Delete, reposition and retake! Sunlight streaming behind everyone through the trees? Take one shot head on, move to the left and shoot another, move to the right and take a shot, shoot low, shoot high; take as many shots as your heart desires. It’s a photo junkie’s dream come true.
Enter the mobile phone with its ability to take photographs using a built-in camera. A mobile phone (or as I prefer to call it, my camera phone) that can be taken wherever I roam. This little bit of wizardry (or little bit of heaven) is nothing if not easily portable. This has opened up a whole new world, negating the need to have an unwieldy camera hanging from my neck or a heavy backpack full of lenses and equipment slung over my shoulder unless I choose to go shooting pics old school. Taking photos no longer needs to be a delicate balancing act. As I did when I first began, I can simply point my camera phone and shoot. And, as my mother before me, I now carry my camera in my purse (or in a pinch, in my pocket.)
It might have ended here if not for all those glorious photo apps. I could go on for days, but prefer to focus on my favorite camera app, Hipstamatic. I discovered mobile photography and the Hipstamatic app within months of each other in early 2012. Left reeling from the deaths of my father, my father-in-law and my mother within a three month period in late 2011, I desperately needed an all-consuming distraction. My first iPhone (4S) and the Hipstamatic app fit that bill to a “T.” I believe I was drawn to Hipstamatic because it’s a neat little app designed to recreate photos produced by the so-called toy cameras of the 50s, 60s and 70s. It’s so much more than that, because along with numerous combinations of lens, film and flash filters, there is a full editing suite, which taps into my creative side. I can play with its features in so many more ways than I could with the actual toy cameras I once owned.
Now that I am retired, I am free to wander the countryside, happily snapping away to my heart’s content. The child who wanted to shoot photos of every conceivable subject has been redeemed. There’s a big, beautiful world out there, just waiting to have its picture taken. I take enormous pleasure in snapping shots of a favorite tree or bridge in the different light of day, in different seasons. Every hour of every day presents a new photo opportunity. It’s a new view of an old friend with every click of the shutter. Ironically, I cannot stop taking pictures of my children and my grandchildren. I am in constant stealth mode, camera phone in hand, hunting for the perfect candid moment. My mother would have gotten a big kick out of this.
Kat Meininger can be found on Instagram: mobile photography as @kats_eye_phone & DSLR photography as @kats_eye_images ; as the founder of @hipsta_crazy & Admin of @photomafia group of photo sharing galleries.