It’s now come time to add the textual component. While the images themselves convey a narrative, text can be used to fill in gaps or give more context to the reader to allow them to form more questions; to be left with more ambiguity.
I need the text to do a few things:
- to set context
- to help the reader understand what is relevant
- to develop the tension
- to provide information that rather than answering questions, raises doubt
Text includes captions as well. The options range from none to long accounts on every detail.
Broadly speaking, I have chosen a documentary style, one most closely aligned with the direct cinema model, primarily to suggest the underlying factualness of the story and secondly to minimise direction on how to interpret from the author (me) and force that onto the reader.
A short introduction sets the context of the starting location, the nature of the family business, some sense of lifestyle, and the central characters. After this, the narrative is exposed through the images and their captions.
Captions are short and functional, simply identifying the people in the picture, the date and time. This allows the reader to clearly identify the people, and place the event chronologically, and spatially. Each of these dimensions of the caption provide linkages with other photographs in the book, so they are important in that respect. However, the captions do not provide any interpretation nor flamboyant descriptions.
I have gone back and forth on whether to include quotes; things my grandparents said. This would be akin to the interview or direct voice of the participant in a documentary, but trying to fit it in without disrupting the pace is the challenge.