Photos tell their stories with StoryShelf
Not only was Rod Stewart grammatically incorrect, but he was just flat out wrong. And it’s not just him —
You’ve heard it a million times, but if you think about it, it’s just not true:
“Every picture tells a story”.
No, it doesn’t. Every picture HAS a story – oh definitely true. But the pictures cannot tell their stories. We have boxes and albums full of family photographs, but we’re almost always left wondering Who is the guy in the back row? Why is that person included in grandma’s album? Where was this picture taken? WHY was this picture taken?
Nope. The pictures don’t actually tell us anything, and we’re left with a box of images of someone else’s stories, without any way to access their meaning, or understand their reason for existence.
Last night in SecondLife I shared a pretty awesome website called StoryShelf. What I absolutely love about this site is the ability to create and share photo stories, but to also easily include text narratives of any length to go with the photos, rather than just a caption, if you so choose. The site is fairly easy to navigate and very simple to create a story out of any collection of photos.
Photo and Narrative Collaboration
The first story that I created is from photographs taken on my vacation last summer. I’ve been meaning to do something with them, but find myself instead just sharing online photo albums and hoping they can figure out which pics are of Barcelona, and which are from Istanbul. Looking at each of the photos sparks memories for me, and StoryShelf gives me the ability to share those stories and maps along with the photographs, putting the pictures and the stories in context.
You may also individually caption each photo, and when you, or someone else clicks on the photograph it opens it up in a pop-up, with the ability to leave a comment thread (similar to Facebook). You may create “Groups” for other friends or family members to collaborate with you on memories and help create and edit a story. You may also keep your own album completely private.
I’m still learning the ins and outs of the site, but I think it’s fantastic. On a personal level, I’m excited to be able to collect my memories and photos of an event in one story. And on a genealogical level, I can’t wait to have my dad help me with the stories behind many of the old pictures from grandma’s attic, and from cousins, and other relatives.
Check it out: www.storyshelf.com
They’re responsive to help emails, and currently entirely free.