The Unseen Scene

A writing prompt

Spectacular selfies, thrilling travel pics and snaps of scrumptious suppers – our phones and feeds are full of these images that we collect over time. We frame the photos carefully, capturing and telling the story we most want to recall, to tell. What we choose to capture and share on social media is often very carefully curated by a wide spectrum of wants, needs and projections.

But just outside the frame of every photo is life’s larger, more complicated story.

Give yourself at least 30 minutes for this journaling prompt.

Look through the photos on your phone, Instagram account or FB collection. Maybe even flip through an old photo album gathering dust on the shelf.

Look for a photo that represents a moment in time filled with deep meaning for you.

Sit for a few minutes and really look at the photo you’ve chosen. Look at the center. At the edges. At the tiny spaces in each corner.

If possible, print and place the photo in your journal. Or, sketch exactly what you see within the frame.

Now, describe what is NOT in the scene.

Was there someone standing just outside the frame that is important to the story? Who took the photo? What was the energy like? Were there precipitating events that made the moment possible, problematic? Does the photo inspire creative storytelling?