Saturday, July 28, 2012

The small town photographer - an interactive story

The following is a story I wrote to use as an interactive story with an advance class some time ago. I deliberately left the ending open to encourage the students to finish it themselves (for homework).


A photographer (What is his name?) lives in a small town (Where is it?) where he has successfully made a good living for many years. In the window of his shop he proudly displays some of the wedding photographs he has taken of happy couples over the years.

He is very fond of one photograph in particular (What does it show?) It’s of a couple posing next to a ruined tower with a brilliant red sunset in the background of the picture. (Why is he proud of it?) It’s a particularly good photograph and ever since displaying this photo in his shop window, he has noticed an increase in the number of customers his studio has received, especially for weddings. And people enquiring about wedding photographic services always comment upon it. (What do they say?) He’s convinced that the photo is a one-off, and he has often tried to recreate the photo again with different couples – in fact they often ask for it – but it never turns out the same way (Why not? What’s wrong with them?)

(What is his explanation?) There must have been something special about that day, something magical. He was just starting out as a wedding photographer, the couple in question were so in love, plus an extra, unknown factor.

One October morning (what is he doing?) he is surprised by a special visitor (Who is it?) It is the woman featured in his special wedding photo. Quite a bit older, but still recognisable. She waits until he isn’t busy and introduces herself. (What does she want?)

She explains that she has recently moved back to the town after living elsewhere. (Where was she living? With who?) She is living with her mother now. ‘I’m sorry’ says the photographer (What does he think has happened?) He believes the woman has divorced her husband.

The woman does not explain, but she does ask the photographer a big favour. (What is it?) She asks him to remove the photograph from his window as she now passes the photographer’s studio every day on her way to work and the photograph disturbs her (Why?)

The photographer is surprised by the woman’s request and agrees to it, telling her that he will remove it at the end of the day. The woman thanks him and leaves the shop. The man works hard for the rest of the day, and starts to wonder if he has made the right decision agreeing to remove his lucky photograph from his window. (What does he do?)

He does, however, remove the photograph from the window, and places it carefully in storage at the back of the shop. But the next day, he regrets his decision because of three incidents.

Talk to your partner and say why the photographer wishes he hadn’t taken the photograph from the window, explaining the three things that happen to justify his superstition.

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