I recently took a photo workshop with Deanne Fitzmaurice on storytelling and how to develop an engaging narrative. I learned a lot and I look forward to putting some of it in to practice. She advised us to find stories we are passionate about and then the telling becomes natural because it's something we want to both capture and share, though persistence might be required to actually get permission to shoot the story. The hard part is to capture moments that say something and to have each photo actually move your narrative forward.
Deanne gave each participant an assignment and we had to shoot it and then get critiqued. I was assigned a wing making truck call Cluckin' Amazin' at the 150th anniversary celebration of Redwood City. This yearly celebration includes a chicken wing contest so there were around 15 trucks putting out wings and many of them had been there before. I had never met the guys at Cluckin' Amazin', but she advised us to go up and ask if it would be ok to photograph their gig. When I'm doing street photography, I don't usually ask people if I can take their picture, I just shoot. Asking can go a long way to helping you get the photos you want assuming the folks you are photographing go back to doing what they were doing before you showed up. You also get more insight in to why people are involved in something. Dan and Scott from Cluckin' Amazin' were firemen who liked to cook and decided this would be the year they would enter the contest. I had a lot of fun capturing their adventure in the wing contest. These guys were super efficient and ran out of wings in about 2 hours where as other booths had long lines. I kept teasing them that we like organization and efficiency in our firemen. Seriously.