I’ve always been very good at telling stories through words. It’s what I love to do and what I would like to be my career path. This time I decided to stray out of my comfort zone and try and create a story using only a picture. Visual storytelling is passing on a lot of information through a simple visual aid. It’s used a lot to market ideas and products. Which is very important for me right now as I’m trying to get a business up and running. I decided to tackle visual storytelling by simply using the camera on my phone to capture a few pictures that I took while celebrating the long weekend. To me, each picture revolves around the same type of story, relaxation, but each picture has its own story to tell.
This first picture describes summer very well. To me, corona is the epitome of the relaxing beer that one drinks while lounging by a pool. One of the four main pillars of visual storytelling is authenticity. For a picture to tell a story it needs to feel real. Drinking a beer beside a pool is definitely a very authentic feeling, that I think most people (21 and above) can relate too.
Rippling water. The wind blowing softly across the top. The sun glaring off the surface. A lone leaf floating with the current. Making someone feel something through your picture as one of the major objectives of visual storytelling. In this day-and-age, most people just scroll through their feeds aimlessly. Not really looking at the pictures, but if you have something that can grab their attention, you have succeeded in telling your story. This picture really shows off how making someone feel something. There’s very little in the picture but at the same time there are many moving parts. I feel completely at peace while looking at this photo. There’s something about a rippling current that can do that for people.
Like the picture above this one, it makes you feel something. Looking up to the sky as a pop fly is hit at your little league baseball/softball game. You lose it for a few seconds in the glare from the sun. Laying in the grass with a friend just looking up at the sky, the sun sneaking its way in past the shade. While looking at this picture you can see both levels that visual storytelling operates on: the action level and the narrative level. The audience sees the setting (outside), props (mailbox in the shade, a home), time (afternoon), and the person in it (who isn’t seen) is you, the viewer.
I’m sure everyone can relate to getting some ice cream with a friend on a hot summer day. Trying to finish it before the heat melts it away. Since it’s the end of the summer and many people either just started school or are starting school this upcoming week, makes this photo incredibly relevant. Relevancy just so happens to be another pillar of visual storytelling. Relevancy is also the most important part element of any story. If something isn’t relevant what would make someone want to view it? This picture could be a great selling point for this little ice cream shop, as not only the ice cream looks delicious (it was), it also shows a homey environment.
Now going off of relevancy, I’m sure most people who drive or have driven all have that “oops” moment or “how did that happen” moment. I’ve been driving this car for over four years, and I could not tell you how this crack in my car happened. It tells a great story though. Where did I go that could have caused that? Was I in an accident? Was I not paying attention and clipped the curb? Scars tell the most interesting stories. Not just on people. Scars on anything really. If you’re walking through the woods and see claw marks on a tree or a rock. You’re going to wonder how that got there.
Bergström Bo. Essentials of Visual Communication, pages 14-27. Laurence King, 2009.
DeMeré, Nichole Elizabeth. “The Power of Visual Storytelling: 15 Stunning Examples to Inspire You.” HubSpot Blog, HubSpot, 11 May 2016, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/visual-storytelling-examples.
Proceedings of NAACL-HLT 2016, pages 1233–1239, San Diego, California, June 12-17, 2016. c 2016 Association for Computational Linguistics
“Worth 1,000 Words: The 4 Principles of Visual Storytelling.” Action Graphics, 26 July 2018, https://actiongraphicsnj.com/blog/4-principles-visual-storytelling/.