Creating a photo essay over time

How do you document the changes to a place over the course of the year? Well, you start by choosing a place that you really like and then by understanding what it is you love about that place. You will do a better job at documenting your chosen place if you can tell its story. Since your storytelling is not journalism, you can put feeling into it. Hence, it should be a place that brings you happiness.

One of my favorite places in my community is a wildlife sanctuary called Buckhorn Island State Park. This wildlife sanctuary is a restored wetland and an important bird area. Many types of migratory birds visit the park during the warmer times of the year. These would include bigger birds, such as geese, osprey, and great blue herons, and smaller birds, such as redwing blackbirds. 

Watching birds is definitely part of the charm of this wildlife sanctuary. But visiting the park when the birds are elsewhere is also delightful. A few years ago, I decided that I would visit Buckhorn Island State Park during the four seasons to take pictures and document how the park changes over the course of the year. I tried to photograph certain features every time I went to the park. When I show the pictures, the viewer can get a better idea of how the park changes from season to season.

Here are a few examples of the same place, photographed at different times of the year.

The marsh at Buckhorn Island State Park definitely looks different, depending on the season.


There is a bridge, made of stones. Here it is during different seasons.


Then there are pictures of the Niagara River.


Grouping pictures together by theme will definitely show change from season to season.

You could also take pictures of objects, such as a bench, to show differences throughout the year.


There are many options for you to choose when creating a photo essay of a place that you love in your community or elsewhere. What place would you like to photograph several times in a year?

4 thoughts on “Creating a photo essay over time”

  1. I love seeing your photos in the different seasons. My favorite is the simple picture of the bench! If fact that gave me an idea for a blog topic!

  2. I love your pictures and they way they demonstrate the changing seasons! I think if could do that, I would want to be able to visit a special place that changed vividly for each season. Maybe New England? But locally, I would probably pick a favorite tree, or a bench, like you did. I also think it would be cool to do that with a home's front door decor, like wreaths or plants and even the welcome mat, if that changes, too.

  3. Love the stories you tell with your pics. Those bridge snaps in different seasons are my favorite.

    I need to learn to take photos more consciously to achieve this.

  4. I will incorporate this into our Studies this year and have Charlie find one place in our City to document each month. Then at the end of the month we can create a Journal of our findings.

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