Photofilms are becoming widely used to tell a story, the advantage of photo film is the image and visual are never physically linked so you aren’t in the mind set of having to have linked images and music, unlike video.

Here are very different examples of Photofilms from around the internet, and a brief analysis of each ones strengths and weaknesses in terms of narrative and storytelling.

This visually stunning romantic journey through Japan uses images so well, mini stop motion films all put together, it doesn’t need a voice over because the story being told is pretty straight forward, depicting facts rather than emotions.

This second video by  is a more humourous approach, using music and soundscape to tell the story of a couples day, a distracted woman and her boyfriend who is desperately trying to reach her. I think this video overused the “Ken and Burns” effect, zooming all over the place, the photos from this video actually look really beautiful  but we hardly ever see one in it’s entirety, we see bits. Even with stills there seems a need for them to be moving, it might be a personal choice but I prefer this to happen more subtly.

This last video by  is probably the most relevant to my project, a look into the life of a person who belongs to a minority. The use of text to narrative rather a voice over is important, I’ve noticed it a lot in photovideos, if an external voice it used it seems to snap the audience out of their immersion within the story.

1 in 13 million – The only native Japanese Imam in Tokyo from Uchujin on Vimeo.


In the exploration of photofilms I couldn’t not look at duckrabbit, a prestigious company who produce short photofilms that don’t use distracting angles and moving image to evoke an image, they rely on the power of the story and the combination of photo’s and audio.

The video above in particular moved me, naturally such an emotional story would hold anyone’s attention but the way duckrabbit have composed the film is stunning and reflects upon the stories emotion. We are never offered the traditional interview scenario, where we watch a subject speak. At times we hear the mother talking but we see her crying, as though she is reflecting in two ways on her experience, both verbally and physically. The way this story is told within such a short amount of time is outstanding, I could have watched an hour long channel 4 documentary and not have been that engaged with the story. I also love the fact there is no narrative voice as such, just text, it made me feel as though I was the one talking to her, the text was entering my mind subliminally and offering me facts, whereas the spoken dialogue was offering me emotion and feeling.

This second video uses similar techniques to tell the story of a Muslim community living in Sweden who feel as though they have become second class and prejudged. The use of images of everyday activities, like school, dancing and playing reinforce the idea that they are normal citizens, there is nothing strange about them.

duckrabbit’s use of still and sound take their work so much further than a slideshow and inform more of a film approach, at times you forget you aren’t watching a moving image.

The Mary Profile Picture Project

Caroline Jaine created this Project, it’s aim was to create a cross-faith project in which people named Mary would send a profile picture of themselves via social medias to Caroline Jaine and she would exhibit them. Watch the video to see more.

Background info – taken from website

“Last year I learned that Mary was not just a key figure in the Catholic faith, but that the same woman – Maryam – is important in Islam too.  She is the only woman to be named in the Qur’an – in fact she has a whole chapter named after her.   And she was of course Jewish.  Although I am neither a Catholic nor Muslim nor Jew, I am a peace-builder, and the role that Mary could play as a bridge between faiths immediately interested me.

 As a visual artist concerned with portraiture, I am intrigued by how Mary is visually depicted – essentially in Catholicism.  Her grace and femininity are frequently illustrated, but she is often shown to be fragile, with her head bowed and eyes cast down.  Mary is seen by the faiths as the embodiment of integrity, compassion and honesty but she is also a single mother and a refugee and I wonder whether her resilience could be better portrayed?  How might a modern day Mary look?

 Across the globe there must be millions of Mary’s, Maryams, Marias and Miryams.  All taking the name of Our Lady – a living proof that she lives on amongst us all in many faiths.

This project is about demonstrating the diversity in the living Mary today. And exploring whether there is a power in her feminine quality, which is visually under-represented.

 *In some interpretations (but by no means all) Islam rejects depictions of humans and animals in art – especially stories from the Qur’an.  It is for this reason that I seek photographic images rather than painted or drawn self-portraits.  The aim of this project is to unite, not divide. “