Why Create a Photo Story
A photo story is a very simple form of digital storytelling that is designed to accent your voice and increase the power of your story. The audio should be you narrating your piece, or telling a complementary story, or you speaking with some music and/or soiund effects in the background. The image should be compelling, it should draw you in. And the text, of course, is the heart of what you are trying to say. The piece should be short 125 to 500 words.
Why do one? Because they strengthen your voice and provide a powerful experience for the reader/listener.
- In advance, think out your story, find a great photo to go with it (or the other way around) and set up at a computer with a Mic.
- Look at some examples: http://youngwritersproject.org/taxonomy/term/19154 or cowbird.com
- Choose a picture that helps focus a story of yours. This could be a personal story and the photo merely complements or suggests the story or it could be a photo of you or someone you know or an elder. But choose a compelling photo; something that is good.
- If it's already a digital photo, cool. If it's a printed photo, scan it into digital format, .jpg. NOTE: Scan it in highest resolution possible and ATTACH that version to your post; we may want to publish your story and so need a high-res version to be able to print. Create a low-res version of the photo -- 72 dpi -- though any simple photo editing tool to put in the post.
- Create a PHOTO Story on this site by clicking "Photo Story" content type in left sidebar.
- UPLOAD the image in the PHOTO box of your PHOTO STORY content. (Attach the high-res version if you have one to "File Attachment")
- Write a short narrative in PHOTO STORY content type. Think 125-500 words. Draw us in; edit down to the nub of what you want to say, but include an anecdote to help show your point. If it's about a person, give us enough background or context to help us feel the story.
- Narrate your piece either by recording it using Audacity, Garage Band or some other recording software. If so inclined, put an appropriate music or sound effects as a second track behind it. (Make sure the background is not too loud.)
- Upload the finished .mp3 in the "podcast" box.
- OR, record your narration directly by clicking on the "direct_record" button in your Photo Story content type. Click the UPLOAD button when you are done and BE PATIENT because it takes a while. (For more about direct_record feature, click here.
- Scroll down to SAVE. (You should probably save at various stages of this process.)
- Voila. Photo Story.
The power of the digital piece comes from three directions -- the words, the photo and the sound. The background music/sound is by no means required, but it helps set the tone.
Sometimes it helps to see the procedure, as deadly as such a thing is to read. The Steps:
- Choice. What are you going to do the piece on? A relative, community member or even a historical figure? Something that happened to you, a memorable moment? Find a distinctive photo that can be the focal point of the story.
- Research. Interview the elder or talk with someone who may have known the elder. Have them get details about the person and an anedcote. If it's a story about you, think about how someone else witnessed that event.
- Photo. Scan it or upload it to the Photo box in the PHOTO STORY
- Write. Start writing a micro story using the PHOTO STORY content type Focus on one or two main points. Use detail.
- Podcast. Record yourself reading the piece either on the desktop or in the PHOTO STORY content type using direct_record.
- Revise. The act of recording probably showed you some flaws. Fix and re-record the narration. (In direct_record, Remove and/or try again.)
- Background Audio. Incorporate a music track and make sure the volume is low or is modulated to reflect pauses. (Very easy to do on Audacity) (If you direct recorded first, download the .wav file, edit in a desktop program, re-upload into podcast box. Remove the direct_record version.)
- Polish piece: Check text, save and make sure audio and image are displaying properly.