Visual Storytelling is simply the art of conveying a narrative primarily through images - photos, illustrations and video. Whilst we will incorporate writing into each of our weekly projects, the main impact of what we create will be visual.

This week I am going to ask you to produce a visual storytelling project that tells us something about you. And by doing so we will learn and practice some basic principals of photography and filmmaking.


Capture 4 images that tell us something about you, your family, your home and your health.

Think about what each of these 4 words means to you. 

Below are some visual references and some thoughts about them - this should help you think of some ideas for your series of images. You can ask people to help you - especially when you are appearing in the photograph - but make sure you are taking full responsibility for the way each image is created. The one main rule this week is: do not do the first thing that comes into your head - do not take a simple selfie, or line your family members up and click! Think first, be creative and experiment. There is no way you can get this wrong - just relax and enjoy the creative process.


If your smartphone or digital camera also allows you to film video clips, I would also like to ask you do the following:

Once you have taken a photograph that you are happy with, I would like you to film the exact same scene for 10 seconds - to create a living and breathing version of the same image. So, if possible, you will also have 4 x 10-second clips for the theme of you, your family, your home and your health.

>> Please make sure each of your video clips is not longer than 10 seconds as you will need to keep the files at a reasonable size to upload them


Watch the trailer for this incredible documentary that was made entirely from user-generated content. People around the world shared footage that captured a moment in their lives and a glimpse into their world. 

This captures the spirit of what we will be doing during these five weeks.


This is an image I took for the Africa Advocacy Foundation. Any image can be interpretted in different ways. During this time when we are all staying at home this image takes on a new meaning. When you are taking pictures and video on the subject of you, your family and home - how might your images be interpretted?


There are infinite ways of telling a story through an images, video, text and audio. Before you create yours - experiment, try to think creatively - push yourself to find different angles and different ways of telling your story. 

There is no way you can get this wrong - just try each week to grow as a storyteller.




TIP 1 


Look for the light! We will talk about lighting in more depth in future weeks but for now, start thinking about lighting - if you are taking pictures inside use the light coming through windows and doors to illuminate the focal point [the most important part] of your photograph. Think about the way your environment looks at different times of the day - the light in the morning, afternoon and evening are all very different. In photography, the golden hour is the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset, during which daylight is redder and softer than when the Sun is higher in the sky. The period of time shortly before sunrise and shortly after sunset is called the "magic hour". This soft light can bring a dose of magic to your images.



Wonderful things will happen when you allow yourself to experiment and find your own ways of being creative.  Trying out new ways of telling stories is the only way that you will discover your own style. At this early stage, you should have an open mind and try many different creative approaches. I will be giving feedback each week and together we will discover new and exciting ways to tell the story of the Africa Advocacy Foundation and the people who make up its community.  


Once you have experimented with the subjects of you, your family, your home and your work choose your strongest image for each of those 4 subjects, then I would like you to write 2-3 sentences to go along with each image. Your words shouldn't be describing what we can already see in the image, they should say something that adds to the story. 


Please change the file name of each of your images to feature your name and the title of each image.

For example, if I was taking part in this weeks project I would label my files:





Please then type your 4 captions + your contact info [your full name, what kind of role you play at Goonj, where in India you are based and your email address] into a text file that is labeled with your name and the week number of the project [i.e. alan_compton_week1.doc] You can download an example of this text file here: download text file

Once you have all your files ready please upload your content here: