How to capture your story through photo & video

Published: Wednesday May 23, 2018

Our personal stories have incredible potential to inspire and encourage people in all sorts of ways. Video is a great way to answer a common question or tell a personal story, and these days we have widespread technology (often freely available) to capture our stories.


Many of the videoing principles are discussed in this short film from a parish which ran an excellent ‘Digital Advent’ series, filmed using mobile phones:


How to take better photos

(The real way to improve your photos is to take them more often! We’re all creative, we just need practice!)

Festivall example photo

  • Get in close to people – staged group shots might be fine for ceremonies, but they don’t depict how we’d naturally interact with humans
  • Get people’s permission – verbal is fine for adults, but for vulnerable/underage you need it in writing (a template permission form is available below)
  • Light vs. Dark: convey drama/emotion by contrasting light and dark areas, drawing the eye to key parts of the photo
  • Story: if you can capture a story in a photo it’ll be more immersive (because we all have compassion!)
  • Depth of Field: blurring the background will create a more immersive depth and help highlight the subject
  • Slow down: take the time to decide how a photo is composed and what emotion it’ll communicate. If it’s not communicating anything, don’t press the shutter button
  • Rule of Thirds: imagine the layout split into three and put the subject on one of the dividing lines
  • Relax: if you’re not relaxed, your subject will tense up and the photo will become wooden. Same applies for video. If you can’t relax, take a break, change the location, have a cup of tea!


Communications Team
About Filming in churches
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Freely exchange photos via our Facebook group
Consent form for photos/video

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