I love the idea of utilizing personal photos to inspire writings. I don’t mean the family portraits (although those are excellent memory-making-moments in themselves). I mean the candid, spur-of-the-moment ones that catch folks off guard or the scenic ones that touch heart, mind and spirit and renew remembrances of events-of-the-time. As you might imagine, reviewing photos such as these are excellent ways to develop memoirs. Several of my friends/clients have built marvelous memoir manuscripts and published them in various formats. However, they are also great “starters” for creating books of poetry, children’s picture books, cookbooks and pet stories.
When working with a recent true story, my starting point to understand the heart of this person’s life was seeing the photo of a cemetery headstone. The inscription and design selected as forever statements about that person were crucial in helping the author tell her story. She could have sent me the wording and a word-description of the design, but seeing it brought about a whole new level of understanding.
Years ago, I helped my Dad create a cookbook—JRs Memorable Meals. He became the “family chef” when his work hours allowed him to arrive at home an hour or more before my mother (who also worked full-time). The method we used to help him remember his cooking adventures—and the recipes he used—were mostly our family photos. Even remembering the refrigerator helped him recall ingredients. However, other cooking adventures were triggered by events surrounding his service in the Navy during WWII. Putting that book together was a special time between us—one that I will remember with fondness—his “cookin’” sown into future generations.
Psychologists and sociologists will quickly acknowledge the valuable connections made when looking through photo albums with the people they are supporting. What a person notices and actually takes a picture of opens many doors. Years later the view behind the moment of that photo is still there to be explored. Often there is an emotional reaction from both the original photographer and the people seeing it at any given moment. The story discovered there—interpreted and re-interpreted—can be truly amazing.
So…when I’m struggling with my own, personal writings I take a Photo-Break. I look through my computer files of photos—scenic and family photos—and before long my mind is relaxed enough to write, write and write some more. I recommend this to my clients, too. Whether I’m ghostwriting a book for them, or helping them finish a book project they’re about to self-publish, taking a photo-journey is an excellent way to move forward.
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.|