Friday, January 25, 2013

REVIEW: Storytellers by Jerod Foster

Storytellers: A Photographer's Guide to Developing Themes and Creating Stories with Pictures

Storytellers: A Photographer's Guide to Developing Themes and Creating Stories with Pictures by Jerod Foster is a book that grabbed my attention from the second I saw the cover. I thought oh, this is going to be a great book! I couldn’t wait to read it, but my busy schedule didn’t allow it until I took a long flight to Asia for vacation this past November. I had a stack of books with my for my long flight, but I started with this one first.

About 10 pages in I started to realize this might not be the book I thought it was going to be. About 20 pages in I started to get sleepy. About 30 pages in I was drooling on the book and hitting my head on the seat in front of me as I struggled to stay awake. After a short nap, I resumed reading and remained disappointed (and napped a few more times) until I got to the end.

What I discovered was that this book wasn’t the book that would teach me more about how to tell better stories with my photographs, but rather a book by a Texan telling stories about his  photographs. His photos weren’t the story – his words about them (sometimes seemingly unrelated to the photo) were the real story.

Most of my family is from Texas so I felt like I was sitting down with a cousin while he was telling me about his photo rather than the photo speaking for itself. I think the intent of the author was to teach, but I didn’t feel that his attempt was effective.


This book was not what I was expecting. The cover photo is great, but much of what follows are dull and uninspiring photos from Texas that don’t really tell much of a story at all. There’s an ineffective attempt at real education on how to tell a story with a photo via the exercises and discussions of themes, colors, gesture, etc… that don’t really work (and yes, I tried the exercises after getting to my destination).

Believe the bad reviews on Amazon – this book fails to inspire or accomplish its objective. If you really think you need to read this book (like I once did), then go for it but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

As an author of three books myself, I know how hard it is to write a book. You put your heart and soul in it, so it’s painful for me to say that my advice is NOT RECOMMENDED. However, this blog is based on telling it like it is, so that’s the advice I’d give a friend so I have to do the same for my readers.

Where to order

Click here to order Storytellers: A Photographer's Guide to Developing Themes and Creating Stories with Pictures by Jerod Foster from Amazon in print or Kindle format.

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