December 8, 2021

How to Use Imagery to Tell a Story

tell a story

Anything can go viral these days. Thousands of funny baby pictures, memes and simple images have blown up across social media in the last decade. Although most viral videos, images and trends are silly and purely for entertainment, they bring out emotion. Imagery can make people laugh, cry and feel everything in between. Imagery driven by purpose and with a goal and mind can do even more. Today we’re going to explore how you can use imagery to tell a story.

Focus on the details

Everyone has heard the saying, “It’s the little things in life that make it great.” and “ A picture can be worth a thousand words.” Although they may sound cliche, they prove to be true over and over.

When using images to tell a story, it is utterly important to highlight the details of images that may seem small and unimportant. The smallest detail of an image, whether it be the dimples of a person smiling and laughing or the reflection of a beautiful bird flying above clear waters, are what make certain images so great. This holds true across all fields, from National Geographic photographers exploring the Amazon rainforest to product photographers working with marketing teams to capture the perfect shots. Analyzing the subject of your image and bringing small details, that make the subject unique, to the forefront.

tell a story

Have a vision and plan ahead
Going into shoots with a specific vision in mind will pay dividends in the long run. In order for your images to tell a story, you must have an idea of what that story is.

Oftentimes images will tell a story of their own, but planning out exactly what message you want a series of images to convey is very beneficial. Without an idea and plan of the type of images you want and their purpose, your imagery may prove to be useless. Capturing a certain angle or a specific action shot does not always come naturally, which is where planning and envisioning displays its importance.

tell a story

Treat them like a book
The basics of storytelling are uniform across mediums; they are not solely confined to books. Chronological order, character development and plot twists are just a few of these key elements which can be applied to imagery. Using images to tell a story is very similar to using words. Bringing out the best parts of the subject of an image by highlighting certain features and bringing them to the forefront is the same as revealing the origin story of a protagonist in a novel to create a certain feeling surrounding that character.

Build Connections
Professional imagery, whether it be product photography or headshots, allows people to connect with your brand. Powerful images can move people, and sway them in the direction you desire. If your goal is to make your products look as professional and appealing as possible, imagine ways you can best display them to attract people to want to learn more.

Imagery can be useful to target the emotions of customers, and display your brand in a positive image. Let’s use corporate event photos, for example. If your company is hosting a corporate event, it could be very beneficial to hire professional corporate event photographers. These photographers can capture a series of images of people interacting and shaking hands, and next thing you know those images are on the front page of your website. If people can build emotional connections to your brand through your images, then you have succeeded in this department.

Without specific goals and an ideal brand image in mind, these tips may be useless. Be sure to know what purpose you want your images to serve, whether that may be promoting products on your website, or building your social media platforms. Ask yourself, How will these images lead people to take action? And use this answer to portray the story that you want to tell.

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