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Visual Story Lab
A project of resourcemedia

Humans of New York: A big city reclaims its community through visual storytelling

November 10, 2014
Has "Humans of ___" come to your city yet? It all started when a guy named Brandon Stanton had an idea to take photos of New York City citizens and pin their photos on a map to create a visual representation of his participants’ locations. Humans of New York is…

Dear Forest Service: Today’s John Muir shoots video

October 13, 2014
The US Forest Service has waltzed into a political minefield over its requirement that journalists and bloggers obtain permits to shoot pictures and video in Congressionally designated wilderness areas. The agency appears to not know where to step, lest it trigger another explosion. Here is some friendly advice: Abandon course.…

Social impact: How do you measure it?

October 6, 2014
“The best story, sitting on a shelf, does nothing. Simply ‘raising awareness’ without a strategic plan will accomplish little more. How can anyone hoping to affect change through their creative work plan for success and know if they are succeeding? We'll hear from a diverse group of communication experts about…

Five visual communications tips for the digital age

September 22, 2014
Oxford English Dictionary dubbed 2013 the year of the selfie. Experts predict nearly a trillion photos will be taken in 2014. With a camera in every smartphone, and Snapchat and Instagram growing gangbusters, one might think technology was fueling this photo boom. But our passion for pictures is as old…

Using visuals to communicate size and scale

September 8, 2014
Just how big is the Great Barrier Reef? A quick Google search will tell you that it is approximately 2300 kilometers long and covers 344,400 square kilometers. That’s pretty big. But, just how big? It is difficult for people to wrap their head around large and obscure numbers. Grounding numbers…

5 best practices for photo captions that sing

August 25, 2014
Think about your blog posts. They probably include a photo or two. Hopefully authentic ones from your work. Perhaps taken by staff or volunteers, or crowdsourced from supporters.  If we’re describing your website, congratulations! You are already taking huge steps to draw supporters’ eyes and touch their hearts with smart…

Interview: Amy Marquis, The Digital Naturalist

August 4, 2014
If anyone knows about effective film and photography advocacy, it is Amy Marquis. In an effort to help others understand the world of digital advocacy, she created The Digital Naturalist in 2010, a website that examines the elements of what makes advocacy videos go viral or be a complete flop.…

Close your eyes: visualizing energy efficiency

July 22, 2014
I have an exercise for you. In a second, I want you to close your eyes and tell me the first image that comes to mind when you think about energy efficiency. OK, go ahead. What popped into your head? Was it, by chance, a CFL light bulb? Maybe someone…

What brain science tells us about website design

July 16, 2014
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span is now just 8 seconds. That doesn’t give us a lot of time to engage website visitors before they lose interest and click elsewhere. Fortunately, the science that is tracking our shrinking attention spans also offers some insights…

Water wins

July 15, 2014
Here’s the scenario: Washington State, like many states, uses something called fish-consumption rates to set water quality standards. The idea is to start with the average amount of fish people eat, and then figure out how clean the water needs to be in order for someone to eat that amount…

We invite you to share your own challenges, successes, best practices and lessons learned. If you would like us to showcase your visual story, please email Don’t forget to send us pictures or links to your video!