Tonga & Samoa – Photo Tip

Tell a story

The villagers of Nuku Nuku, Tonga, work all day and through the night to prepare a feast for the Royal Wedding of the Honorable Titilupe Fanetupouvava'u Tuita to the son of the noble of Nukunuku village, Siaosi Kiu Tau ki Vailahi Kaho.

Photo by Amy Toensing / Getty Images

Tonga & Samoa – Photo Tip

Tell a story

Photography is like any other skill: the more you do it the better you get. I am a storyteller and I always work to improve how I tell a story.

Amy Toensing
Amy Toensing Travel Writer

Almost anyone can go out and take a beautiful picture but making images that communicate a story takes work and requires a deep understanding and knowledge of your subject.

My photojournalistic work requires me to make storytelling photographs and build bodies of images that work together to tell a story. I look for ways to show who my subjects are. I am in constant search for the story. Pigs are a big part of Tongan culture and so when I heard about a pig roast, I got myself there.

I wanted to show an aspect of the culture but I didn’t want literal images. This photo of a man preparing a pig to roast shows something crucial to Tongan culture, but it also communicates the story on an emotional level. The rippled pigskin adds texture. The knife cutting the coconut and the expression on the man’s face add tension and heighten the story. Even the greenery in the background says something about Tonga.

It is not just a picture of a pig.

Solome Ongolea prepares for a Sunday meal by slaughtering and roasting a pig in Kolo Village on the...

Solome Ongolea prepares for a Sunday meal by slaughtering and roasting a pig in Kolo Village on the main island of the Ha'api Island chain in Tonga. The Sunday meal after church is the most important meal of the week for Tongans. Photo by Amy Toensing / Getty

Amy Toensing

Amy Toensing

Agency
Getty

Solome Ongolea prepares for a Sunday meal by slaughtering and roasting a pig in Kolo Village on the main island of the Ha'api Island chain in Tonga. The Sunday meal after church is the most important meal of the week for Tongans.