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Finding The Best Way To Tell The Story

Text, photographs, video?

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PRAGUE, Czech Republic- I’m a collector. I collect dialogue, I collect information, I collect recollections of events, I collect my own experiences. I collect content that can be processed into stories and shared. This is what I do. This is my art.

I work in three different mediums: text, photo, and video.

While it’s all ultimately the same show, the strategies that I use while collecting content varies depending on what medium I choose to focus on. I.e. how I collect content for a text article will be different from how I collect content for a video or documentary. Wielding a video camera and setting up lighting and microphones is logistically very different from hitting record and sitting back and having a conversation… It feels awkward to write up a story that you filmed as though you didn’t film it … Photographing everything disrupts the rhythm of your participation in a story … Doing everything all at once is possible but …

So I need to look at each story, each source, and each circumstance and decide how I’m going to document it before going in.

I’ve been a little imbalanced at this. At the beginning of this year I was focused on video at the expense of text. More recently, I’ve been focused on text at the expense of video. For me right now, text is what pays. Video is what I’m moving towards but finding patrons who will allow you to tell the story as you like in this medium has proved challenging.

So I’ve been oscillating between engaging the medium I enjoy most for artistic reasons and doing what pays.

I need to get over these divisions between mediums and realize that there is only one objective: telling the story the best way possible. Text, photo, and video are all ultimately do the same thing but they each have their own attributes which allow for taking a narrative to the best place for it to be. There is a best way to tell the story.


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Filed under: Filmmaking, Journalism, Photography

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3723 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

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