If you’re reading this, chances are you have a camera and take photos from time to time. You might even be good at photography, or at least think you are! You know your pictures well, but do you know how to tell the story behind them? Turns out it’s not as difficult as you might think. This guide will show you how to turn your photos into words through telling the story of what happened in your photo in more detail than just the subject matter. (picture to words)
Study the Masters
It’s also a good idea to study your favorite writers and learn how they tell stories with their images. If you want to be able to craft an engaging story with pictures, you needn’t just shoot compelling photos—you should strive to tell compelling stories.
Keep your photos focused
You don’t have to tell a whole story in every picture, but you should choose a subject or theme and stick with it. Don’t go through your vacation photos and leave them all up on Facebook. Select only your best shots and use those as a way to create visual stories that chronicle how you spend your time.
Decide on your theme
When deciding on a theme for your photo book, keep in mind that photo books and picture books are two different things. Think about what you want your photo book to accomplish, or tell a story about. Is it a picture book about one special time in your life? A history of your family or business? Or is it a visual portfolio—your greatest hits all wrapped up into one fabulous creation? These differences will help inform how you choose colors, fonts, and page layouts.
Use a storyboard template
One of the most effective ways I’ve found for distilling and communicating a concept is by using a storyboard template. Storyboards are commonly used in animation and filmmaking, but they can be just as useful in helping you explain your concept. Before sharing your idea with anyone, take some time to illustrate it using a storyboard template.
Don’t just write about yourself, but be inspired by others too
We may be able to turn our pictures into words, but what about turning other people’s pictures into stories? What happens when we mix technology with creativity? Today’s post is a list of various sites that allow you to quickly and easily take a photo and then write a short story about it. The first two options on our list—that is, Storify and Tumblr—allow you to create your own stories, while others involve more of an interaction with other users. Have fun!
Balance fun facts with insight
Fun facts are great for content—when sprinkled in, alongside insight and advice. Before you drop a fun fact into your content, ask yourself if it’s relevant and if it adds anything of value. The same is true for statistics or expert quotes; there has to be some kind of value-add before you include them in your post. If you can’t think of anything beyond this is just interesting! then don’t use it.
Create scenes, not single images
There’s more than one way to create a story, and it doesn’t always have to be just a series of images. Take a look at our previous post on creating stories from your photos . In addition to looking for ways to combine multiple images into a single cohesive story, consider how you can use words or video as part of your storytelling process.
For example, you could write captions that describe what is happening in each photo; if there are people in your pictures, you could interview them about their experiences; or you could add narration to explain what is happening in each scene. The possibilities are endless!
Picture-to-words apps aren’t new. They have been around for years, but due to increased competition and a growing selection of offerings, they are steadily getting better. And much like Instagram has evolved from a simple photo sharing app into an entire social network built on visuals, picture-to-words apps offer more than simply converting text into pictures. What’s more, they represent a viable alternative to traditional visual storytelling mediums such as comics or motion graphics.