Finding a story in an image

DSC_1402 copy 2Many times when creating an art piece,   I already have the story  in my mind.  The clients and I have discussed clothing, makeup, hair, etc.  Once the idea is formed, we head into the studio and I get to work.

However, it was time for me to switch things up a bit.  I decided to find and create a story out of an  image that I had already photographed.

On the right, you will see the final result of my story; but read on to see how I arrived at this point.

I love to photograph dancers.  From a simple stretch to the point of a toe, one can find not only one story; but several.


DSC_1402 aIn June, I had the opportunity to photograph the dancers at the Dance Centers of Iowa which is located in Davenport, IA.  Over the course of an evening, we photographed about 20 dancers in a variety of costumes and poses.  Towards the end of the evening, this beautiful dancer walked in and headed to the cross.  As she leaned her head against the cross and closed her eyes, I pressed the shutter.  At that moment I knew I wanted to return to this image at a later date.



Back in my office, I began the task by smoothing out the wrinkles and working on the DSC_1402 backgroundtexture and design that I wanted for my background. What eventually came about was the picture on the right.

From there, I began to work with the cross. I tried a variety of things – smoke, colors, and finally settled on the flames.

Not done yet! I kept returning to my background, knowing that something was missing.  So I started working with different “monsters” and finally settled on the serpent like things that you see behind the cross. Still wanting the dancer to be the main focus of the image, I took the opacity down on them.  If you look closely, you will see them lurking behind the cross.

This truly was a fun self-assignment and I look forward to not only working with clients and their ideas; but finding a story to tell in a image that I have photographed.

Have an idea for a story? Want to get together and brainstorm?  Fill out the contact form below and we will get to work!






About lisafrancescon

Lisa is a portrait artist who uses photography as part of a process to capture the personality of animals and the special relationship they have with their owners. Based out of Moline Illnois, she travels throughout the Midwest providing timeless images of family pets. Her fine art portraits can be viewed at various pet businesses throughout the Iowa/Illinois Quad Cities. Lisa holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Western Illinois University and taught in the public schools for many years. She continues to teach photography classes in her studio covering a wide range of topics. Her class sizes are small so she can offer her students a hands-on experience and individual attention. Lisa is a Certified Professional Photographer and has been awarded the Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman degrees through the Professional Photographers of America. She is a member of the American Society of Photographers, one of the most prestigious photographic associations in the world and an association that must be invited into through photographic achievement. Among her many awards and accolades, Lisa has been recognized as one of the top 10 photographers in Illinois in both 2015 and 2016 from the Associated Professional Photographers of Illinois.
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