Beginning, Middle, and End
Much like reading your favorite novel, the beginning chapters establish a beautiful setting for the story, introduce the main characters, and mold essential locations. The middle of any story gives context to the three elements mentioned above, while the final chapter provides the audience with a satisfying conclusion (unless you're Game of Thrones). Visual storytelling in photography follows these same rules. We lead the viewer on a journey as a witness to a particular moment — or moments — of that same story.
Of course, a thoroughly complex and complete story with a beginning, middle, and end requires a streamline of photographs, as only one photo conveys the moods and emotions of a particular moment.
To effectively create this story in photo form, start with some pre-planning: think of the mood you're trying to convey, introduce your characters, locations, ideas, and fully execute how the story will unfold.
Let's take, for example, a camping trip. First, photograph the group of individuals setting up their gear to head down the trail, then shoot a portrait of each of their faces. Grab those details: the shining sweat beads dancing along their foreheads, their crazy hair styles sticking beyond their hats, and the dirt mounds piling at the top of their threaded backpacks. Photograph the winding river bed and stacked red rocks like a pile of hot cakes dripping with maple syrup. Once you've established the three main elements, capture the lifestyle of what's it's like on the trail: this is the middle part — the context — of your story. Give clues to the lifestyle they're living while hiking up the mountain or canyon. Finally, conclude with a standing ovation at the summit; an ending success story waiting to be told by John Krakauer.