When I established, Chris Parry Writes For Us, I would tell clients that the inspiration for my business name came from seeing my first article published with the descriptor … Chris Parry writes for us about his experiences …
It was so cool. I had written 1500 words that an editor thought was worth paying me for and other people would enjoy reading.
To be completely truthful though, there was a story I wrote a few months earlier that was published and had really got my confidence fired up to write more.
I had submitted a description of the photo above to a newspaper weekend supplement that published descriptions of why you like a particular photo. Mine was published and won the best submission for the month.
The submission was based on the photo above.
The photo is of my boy Tom gleefully teasing my daughter Matilda with a piece of kangaroo poo while on a bush walk. I wrote that it was a photo that would never be enlarged as a canvas but told a very large story. It showed me that the difference between boys and girls may be found in their reaction to bush poo. It also showed me a lot about this brother and sister. A brother emerging from being a toddler, developing a cheeky side to his character and begining to push his sister for reactions. It also showed a sister that was disgusted but not upset. She saw the funny side and didn’t get upset with her little brother.
How lucky I am to have been able to write about that moment and share those thoughts with those who like to read.
The world has changed in the past few years hasn’t it?
In the world of Instagram I would now post that picture with a bunch of hashtags designed to help it be found.
I might get away with a small caption but the chances of it being read by someone gliding through their Instagram feed are slim.
The expression, ‘A picture tells a thousand words’ has never been truly accurate. The picture captures an image we should describe by writing about it or talking about it.
There are wonderful pictures that evoke and provoke emotions and reactions but they are always enriched when you know the story. From a dead rhino with it’s horn missing to the girl with green eyes and the dead boy on the beach, unless you know the story you’re missing the point.
I’m struggling in the Instagram world to communicate what I think I’ve been pretty good at; describing experiences that make people want to jump up and do it for themselves. Whether in print or on radio, I have always loved telling my travel stories and experiences but it’s less enjoyable when it’s reduced to a photo and series of hashtags.
And yes, I am on Instagram at chrisparrywritesforus. I post to meet clients expectations and try and stay part of a world that feels like a crowded room and everyone is taller than me.
I like the pic of Matilda and Tom. I like the story behind it even better.