TEDxUF2015: Why is storytelling so important?

Revisiting Mac Stone, and the importance of capturing the essence of creativity

But what makes our experiences perhaps a little bit different and a little more unique than that of the average person is that we have this gnawing thing in the back of our mind that even in our darkest moments, and those times of despair, we think, ‘hey, there might be an image to be made here, there might be a story to be told’.”

As a student, a friend, a light in the lives of others, a sister or brother, an executive member or assistant, a hero or a heroin — we all share one thing in common: we are visual creatures. We use what we see to decipher what we know. We use this skill to find a way to reach out to one another and create a bridge between what is the unknown and what we have a firm grasp on.

Mac Stone, a wildlife conservation photographer from Gainesville, Fla. and speaker at TEDxUF 2015 uses his outstanding abilities to capture the rare moments on film to build connections with his audience.

His goal in doing so? 
“…to use photography as a communication tool, to help bridge the gap between the science and the aesthetics, to get people talking, to get them thinking, and to hopefully, ultimately, get them caring.”

Stone uses his camera as a tool to spark his creative being. “It’s just a matter of how far our imagination will take us. See, a lot of people look at this and they say, “Oh yeah. Wow, that’s a pretty tree.” But I don’t just see a tree — I look at this, and I see opportunity. I see an entire weekend. Because when I was a kid, these were the types of images that got me off the sofa and dared me to explore, dared me to go find the woods and put my head underwater and see what we have.”

Developing that interest in diving deep into the undiscovered is vital to the livelihood of storytelling. The best stories make imprints on their audiences when the storyteller can harness their attention through visual storytelling and passion in the subject.

TEDxUF strives to push you to break the everyday routine and open yourself up to allowing the fear of failure to help you create work better than you ever imagined yourself being capable of.

Check out Mac Stones talk for more information on the Everglades and be sure to check out our Facebook page for frequent updates on what’s going on with TEDxUF!

Words by Kyley Hagan
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