Visual storytelling makes me think of “Six Word Memoirs.” As you may know, good writing is concise — the less words, the better. But distilling your life story into six words is a challenge, right? In Smith magazine online, Dave Eggers writes, “Fifteen years since last professional haircut” for his 6-word memoir. Stephen Colbert says, “Well, I thought it was funny.” These are concise but tell so much about the person.
Now take this one step further. Instead of six words, use only one image.
Don’t worry – it doesn’t have to tell your life story. 🙂
But the image does have to tell a story.
Think National Geographic and Life magazine.
Is a picture is worth a thousand words?
NO. Not all pictures.
How do you discern if an image tells a story?
3 Questions to Ask
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Can you tell what’s going on? ( & does it make you wonder the backstory?)
2. Does it make you feel something? (fear, wonder, sadness, delight)
3. Is it real? (not staged)
You’re looking for images that don’t require a title and that evoke interest in knowing more.
Use your 3 questions to evaluate these photos. Decide if the tell a story or not.
NO. This is a fine photo but it doesn’t tell a story, does it?
YES. This gets the aaah factor, and we can tell what’s going on.
YES. We feel a sense of longing and sadness. We can tell the girl is left out of whatever is going on.
NO. This photos, while colorful and interesting for that reason, doesn’t evoke emotion or tell a story.
Are you getting the hang of this?
I want you to apply these 3 questions to your photo selection.
Find images that capture emotion and story and you’ll connect more with your customers.