Ryan W Daniels Visual Storytelling

Stories that move


Here is a selection of photographs with a focus on storytelling through still images.
Some of these photos were commissioned and some were personal projects.


A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.

Orson Welles

Motion picture is an ideal medium for storytelling. Beautiful and dynamic images combined with a rich sound design allow viewers to be completely submerged in an experience.

It is this richness and dynamism that attracts all of us to movies. For me, it was certainly the reason I started making films and videos. Stories can take any form, but motion pictures provide great opportunities for telling stories that other media simply don’t have.

Photography is the simplest thing in the world, but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work.

Martin Parr

Photography was my first love. While my drive for telling stories visually has led me into the realm of filmmaking, I am still enthralled by the power of a single image. Film and video allows us to use dynamic movement and sound design to create a feeling. The power of a still photo comes from the absence of these things.

A photograph allows us to see the world through a single moment. A single image can have so much power. However, a series of still images has always been my favorite way using still images. It retains the power of a single image. One can stare and contemplate a single image, but the story is made richer with other images juxtaposed next to it.

All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.

Albert Einstein

Coming up with an idea can be a daunting task. However, it can also be enormously fun and very satisfying. Luckily, I enjoy the challenge. For me, the best experience is brainstorming ideas with others. You never know which idea will resonate with others and which of your own ideas will bounce back or be improved by others.

Concept development might be simply coming up with a basic idea for a single video. It might be a larger project that entails multiple films, a full-fledged media campaign that includes aesthetically similar  or “branded” films, photos and/or multimedia on a variety of distribution platforms.

That’s one of the nice things about writing, or any art; if the thing’s real, it just lives.

Woody Allen

Often times, in any area of work, the plan is the most important part. This is certainly true of visual storytelling. The story is what matters most. Being able to develop a script or treatment to tell a story that ultimately meets the needs of a particular subject or client is a fundamental skill of creating successful media in my opinion.

While a documentary story of any medium will sometimes only show itself during editing, we often have to develop a script or treatment a number of times over the course of a project. Even if the story only shows itself in full during editing, we should have some idea about the story we are trying to tell. Even if it is continuously changing and evolving.

Only through communication can human life hold meaning.

Paulo Freire

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