Photos as writing prompts

HOMEFRONT PRISONERS OF WAR THOMAS K. OLIVER (USAAF)      Tom Oliver in 2009      Oliver photos 2012 PETER DAHLBERG (ARMY)      December 7, 1941      Friends for Life      He Took My Place       Christmas Lights HAROLD TAYLOR (USAAF)      Story of Had Taylor STAN LIEBERMAN (ARMY)     Story of Stan Lieberman LESTER SNYDER (USAAF)       Durkee's Crew WARREN FAGERLAND (ARMY) EJI SUYAMA (ARMY)      My Combat in the 442nd HARRY NOLLSCH (ARMY)        Harry Nollsch       Taps Delayed       The Purple Heart FRANK MORAWA (GERM. ARMY)        Life of Frank Morawa LOYD BRANDT (MARINES)      Reluctant Heroes       Brothers in Arms JERRY TEACHOUT (USAAF)       Leaving Home for WWII CHUCK CHILDS (USAAF)       I Flew the Big One      Combat Mission 15      Riding Rails before WW2 HARRY PUTNAM (NAVY)       Veterans STEVEN WARREN (NAVY) GORDON LEASE (COAST GUARD) CLARENCE CARSNER (ARMY) WALLY DAHLQUIST (USAAF) GEORGE W. LARSON (NAVY) ALAN HERBERT (ARMY) RICHARD PERKINS (MARINES)      Letter home, 1944 RUSSEL FRINK (NAVY) JIM LOCKHART (NAVY) REX ALAN SMITH (ARMY ENG) VINCE FITZGERALD (NAVY) HONOR FLIGHTS CHARLES ANDERSON (USAAF)      Life of Charles Anderson HARLAND HERMANN (ARMY)      Letters during WWII WALTER MARCHAND (ARMY)      D-Day Doctor's Diary JUNO SUNDSTROM (ARMY) KEITH CHRISTENSEN (ARMY) DEAN SHAFFHAUSEN (NAVY) CHARLES GERLACH (NAVY) WAYNE BREWSTER (ARMY) WILLIAM A. SEMLEK (ARMY) KENNETH HALLIGAN (ARMY) WALTER MEHLHAFF (ARMY) EDDIE KODET (ARMY) TOM McDILL (ARMY) PAUL PRIEST (ARMY) VICTOR WEIDENSEE (ARMY)       Weidensee maps OLA CAMPBELL (USAAF) DALLAS BLOMQUIST (Marines) BILL LOFGREN (ARMY) HAROLD JANSEN (Navy)       Personal Summary JOHN W. FULLER (NAVY)      John Fuller Goes to War JOHN WILKINSON (ROYAL AF) MARCELLA LeBEAU (ARMY) HILARY COLE (USAAF) TOM WENN (USAAF) JOHN GASTON (USAAF) MAURICE CROW (USAAF) GEORGE MOLSTAD (USAAF) GEORGE MOE (US ARMY) MEL CARLSON (NAVY)

Use Historic Photos as a Memory or Writing Prompt

Battle of Leyte Gulf, Pilots of a torpedo squadron in their ready room aboard the carrier USS Franklin 24 October 1944, just before the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea. They are watching as the position of the Japanese fleet is posted. Note life vests, with die marker pouches, worn by several of these men. Other life vests, and .38 caliber revolvers, are hanging on the bulkhead. (US Navy archives)

What were these men probably thinking?


Do they remind you of friends or those who shared your wartime experience?


Did each have a unique past?


An individual personality?


A future that you are aware of?


Did any of them soon die in combat?


Can you say more about the physical objects observable in the photo?

The photo below could also be turned into a short story.  Descriptions of the characters are there, the wartime context, as well as a physical setting with many objects.  Everything so far is "true" in the sense that the photo captured a moment in time, exactly as it happened. You just need to use your imagination and knowledge to create a story that will get readers to "see" what a strictly factual rendering might flatten.