It’s story time

By Jonathan Black

Visual Storytelling was led by two Eastern Illinois University professors, Brian Poulter and Joe Gisondi.

The session, which I thought would be how to combine visual and text storytelling to create a complete spread, mainly brushed out storytelling aspects for both photographers and reporters.

Poulter and Gisondi presented their hierarchy of writing and photography by walking us through it step-by-step. At the bottom was informative, followed by graphic approach, emotional and intimate as the apex.

Most of the information provided by Poulter and Gisondi wasn’t brand new, but it did provide some helpful tips to expand upon my knowledge and experience. In particular, the advice that stuck with me the most is that when I am writing a story, think about how I’m going to tell it, not just that I have to.

It’s so easy to get lost in the daily grind and forget that each story is special to the person or organization I’m writing about. Secondly, and this is a mistake Janna Anderson will admit I made, is to describe the person you’re profiling doing something. Follow them around for a day and see how they interact with others to capture their natural essence — something a formal interview can’t do.

To sum the session up, a reporter’s storytelling will become much more visual to the reader if he or she remembers to keep it natural and immerse yourself into your subject’s world.

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