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storytelling

Photo essays that captivate, part 2

This part two in a two-part series on photo essays. Yesterday, I wrote about powerful essays that use just one or two images. Today, I’m going to talk about longer-form photo essays. You probably are familiar with these from online news sites which use slideshows of five to ten images…

Photo essays that captivate

Instant. Emotional. Captivating. Yes, we’re talking about stories. Visual stories to be precise. Traditionally, stories are (hopefully, gripping) text with images to support the storyline. But, what if the story format was flipped to be largely made of images with text included to support the visual story, not vice versa?…

Storytelling photography: Learn from the masters

When I help people prepare for media interviews, I commonly tell people to analyze interviews in that same format – TV, radio or print – that they find very persuasive. What was it about their soundbite that got your attention? How did they use a story to transport you in…

Is it catching? Campaign lessons from Salsa and Web of Change

With all the data available these days about what’s getting liked and shared online, researchers have been working overtime to crack the code for virality. A recent post in the Harvard Business Review emphasized the importance of feelings like curiosity and amazement, and a Wharton study from 2012 found that…

The luxury of time

In a conversation with fellow conference attendee Kathleen Hennessy in the cab on the way to the airport on Friday, we had a good laugh over the similarities between her job as a professional photographer and my temporary gig as a blogger for the Communications Network conference. Quite simply, it…

Storytelling with a purpose

Logging into the Dallas airport WiFi on the way home from New Orleans, I was forced to watch a 16 second cereal commercial that ended with an invitation to share my story on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. The commercial’s message was, “Some things, like how the baby got into your…

Climate change in the Visual Story Lab

Recently I read an interview of Eli Pariser, CEO of Upworthy, in the Washington Post, where he reflected on the stunning success of Upworthy in its first year of operation as a website for viral content. Pariser said, “In general, I would say we focus on the things that are…

Stories that connect: the hero’s journey

What makes a good story? Narrative structure and content. Think of the stories that have unique staying power across all cultures – mythology and folklore. There is a universality about the lessons learned by the heroes of these stories. Their dreams are our dreams. Their feelings, their challenges are shared…

Storytelling science: why you need a good hero

A couple of years ago, political scientist Michael Jones published the results of a study in the Policy Studies Journal, on the most effective ways to educate and persuade the public about the threats of climate change. His research clearly demonstrated that when climate information is conveyed in narrative story…