How To Write A Photo Essay

How to Write a Photo Essay (Writing Guide)

A photo speaks a thousand words, and sometimes you need to capture all of them in one essay. A single photo can be interpreted differently by many people, and as a writer, it is very probable to be subjective in writing about the photo. Photos represent a frozen moment in time. It, therefore, takes more than what meets the eye to accurately capture all the details of the photo and understand the story behind it. The essay must be written comprehensively to enable the reader to understand the photo and story behind it fully. Ensure the essay supports the picture, and the picture supports the story. However, you can write a good photo essay by following these simple steps.

The start of a photo essay

The start of s photo essay describes lightly what the picture is about. It is a simple way to get the reader to continue reading the essay. The obviously discernible elements of the picture are briefly outlined in the introductory paragraph. If it was a personal choice photo, it is necessary to defend your choice in this paragraph. Such attributes include the size of the photo, type of the photo, etc. The author can also delve further and describe some of the history or the story behind the picture. All the content in the first photo must ensure it sets the ground for latter parts of the picture. Include a thesis statement to outline the purpose of the essay. Additionally, ensure the introduction is short and interesting whilst covering the basic elements of the picture. To nail a good introductory paragraph essay of a photo, use simple language and short sentences. Ensure each point is clear and objective. The primary aim of the paragraph is to create an interesting commencement to capture the attention of the reader and arouse interest in him/her to go through the rest of the essay. Coin an interesting thesis statement relevant to the topic whilst outlining the primary objective and purpose of the photo essay.

How to write body paragraphs for a photo essay

The body paragraphs contain the main content of the photo essay and must be organized to capture all the perspectives of the story told by the picture.  To achieve that, the first body paragraph has to start by getting a more detailed description of the photo. The physical attributes of the photo are also discussed in this paragraph. For example, if the photo is a close-up image of the malnourished kid, describe the color and the discernible objects that can be picked from the photo. Describe them in detail and highlight some of the reasons you think the photographer used the color. Discuss the setting and significance of the discernible objects featured in the photo.

In the subsequent paragraphs, get into more intricate details of the photo. Discuss the mood, and the story told by the picture. For each point, refer to the photo to support your claim. Ensure all your arguments and assertions about the photo are supported by evidence on the photo. You might need to describe the events that were before or after the caption depending on the purpose of the essay. The colors, mood, environment captured in a photograph contain a lot of information on the picture and therefore ensure you pay attention to details as you describe the photo.  Always have an outline to guide you through writing the essay to avoid disorganization and confusion during writing.

How to conclude a photo essay

The conclusion of a photo essay wraps it summarizes the contents of the essay. For a photo essay, the conclusion highlights the key points about the photo. Reassert the thesis statement but rewrite it. The thesis statement included in the conclusions brings together the story with its topic. Use interesting language and clear, concise sentences to convey the message. Do not include new information in the concluding paragraph. A compelling conclusion revitalizes the story told by the picture and leaves room for the reader to imagine his/her interpretation of the photo.

Outline example for a photo essay

An outline for a photo essay helps the author to capture the important details during writing. The outline is the guide to writing a great essay. Here below is an example of a sample outline for a 5-paragraph essay entitled famine in Africa. The title is derived from a photo depicting a malnourished child in Africa.

Famine in Africa

Introduction

  • Explain a short background of the photo
  • A short explanation why the aforementioned topic is a befitting title
  • A thesis statement

Paragraph 1

  • Explain the physical attributes of the photo, i.e., color.
  • Explain why the color is relevant to the essay

Paragraph 2

  • Explain all the discernible objects captured in the picture and their relevance to the story told by the picture

Paragraph 3

  • The intricate details of the photo. The deeper meaning and explanation of what the picture represents.
  • Briefly but exhaustively describe the story behind the photo.

Conclusion

  • Wrap the main highlights of the essay
  • Reassert the thesis statement
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