Visual Storytelling Tips

visual storytelling tips.jpg

Visual Storytelling Tips

In a world of quick clicks and scrolls, we’re all adapting our techniques for getting an audience’s attention. It’s easy to communicate once someone is engaged. But how do you get them there? Visuals are the strongest asset in the battle of online communication. Photos, videos, and graphics are all wonderful ways to leave a quick impression. If used wisely, these visuals can leave more than an impression and fully engage your audience.

Visual storytelling surpasses the initial goal to grab attention. When your images embody your intent, you can convey so much more to your audience. First consider: what story are you telling? What do you want people to take away from it?  

We've listed a few essential elements to get started. After figuring out your theme, composition, and how to create contrast, the process should come easier to you. You'll develop your own method to keep consistent with your brand style.


After deciding on the message, single out connecting themes. Considering your central theme will allow your audience to develop a connection to your story. For example, telling your origin story of building your brand might include themes of growth and community. Using this theme as a base for your visuals creates an association for your audience to easily recognize. We're naturally drawn to what's familiar.


With a theme in place, the structure of imagery comes next. This is an important factor in any form of visual display. The motion, stillness, or overall pattern of imagery reflects the tone of your story. Consider visual balance in shapes, lighting, and movement (even still photos can show movement!). Your decisions here will also come into play on larger layouts like website or social media. 


This one fits into both roles of grabbing attention and keeping a viewer engaged. Whether it be color, angle, or movement, visual contrast interacts with your viewers. It can rouse an emotional reaction. Think about it: those pictures with a soft golden glow encroaching on a striking silhouette are notorious for reminding us of romance. Pictures with neatly arranged trinkets against a stark clean background reinforce careful calculation. 


Trust your gut on what looks unique and matches your aesthetic. Give your decisions more thought with how your vision communicates with your audience. By using the aforementioned elements to maintain the intent behind your interactions, the story should come through. 

Question of the Session:

How does your imagery tell a story?