Shooting Challenge: Stage a Story

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Stage a Story

264 of you entered last week's Shooting Challenge. I'd love to crush that number for this week's admittedly tough topic. The theme? Stage a narrative in a photo—the opposite of capturing a candid.


The Challenge

Shoot whatever you want, but imply a deeper story behind the frame. The story need not be long, and it need not involve human subjects (though it can). I just want to see a strong undertone of narrative in each image. Technique counts, but creativity is just as, if not more important this week.

The Method

Surrealist photographer Gregory Crewdson (lead shot) is known for meticulously staging extraordinary moments in suburban dwellings. His stories aren't so specific—there is rarely a beginning, middle and end in a single frame—but I'd argue that they're so striking much because each is a doorway to a story that could be. You don't need to take surreal photos like Crewdson for us to celebrate your work, but please aim for at least his level of narrative implication, or even a more specific (or very specific) story.

The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos need to be taken the week of the contest. (No portfolio linking or it spoils the "challenge" part.)
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings and technique used to snag the shot.
4. Email submissions to
5. Include 800px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. (The 800px image is the one judged, so feel free to crop/alter the larger image for wallpaper-sized dimensions.)


Send your best entries by Sunday, April 18th at 11PM Eastern to with "Staged Photo" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameSTAGED.jpg (800px) and FirstnameLastnameSTAGEDWALLPAPER.jpg (2560px) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences.

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Too bad my equipment sucks. I could've really gone for this one.