Day 505: How to tell a visual story

I’m not sure how good I am at telling visual stories.

I probably have SOME things I could tell you,  about visual story-telling. For example, it’s good* to:

  • Have visuals people can see, clearly enough.
  • Make chronological or other connections among the visuals, in a credible way.
  • Put yourself (and other compelling characters) into the story, as best you can.
  • Show growth or other development, in the characters or other elements.
  • Have conflict, tension, or suspense, which resolves in some way.
  • Don’t try to show everything.

I have no idea how well I’m going to meet those criteria.  I’m just going to do what I decided to do when I started writing this post: (1) show you photos I’ve taken since my last blog post and (2) try to make some sort of story out of them.

Before the visual story-telling commences, I shall express this concern (thus letting go of it): I hope that my indulging so gleefully in non sequiturs, two posts ago, hasn’t weakened my story-telling skills.

Spoiler (which-isn’t-a-spoiler-if-you’ve-been-reading-recent-blog-posts) alert!

(Yesterday, I returned to work after being out for over a month with pneumonia.)

I’ve never done a spoiler alert before, so I did the best I could, making the alert more obvious and the spoiler less obvious.

Are we ready to begin?

Wait!  First, I’d like to balance the warning tone of the spoiler alert with a note of safety.  For example, I could say, “No animals were harmed in the making of this story” and that’s certainly true, but that seems a little … I don’t know …. long-winded, clichéd, over-used, and not so much in-the-moment* (even though animal welfare is important to me).

I’ve got it!

This story is 100% gluten-free.

Okay! It’s time to begin.

A Visual Story

by Ann

Hmmm. I think I can make this story more focused if I have a more specific title.

Work:  A visual story

by Ann

When I go to work, I park my car near an iconic baseball park.  Then, I pay respect to an old hero, as I walk by.


Yesterday was no different. I hat-less-ly returned the hat tip to Mr. Yastrzemski — with a little hand-to-head salute.

Moments later, I saw this:


Arrgghh!  There are TWO problems with that photo: (1) Inexplicably, it’s showing up on its side and (2) it’s violating my first rule, above, regarding good visual story telling: “Have visuals people can see, clearly enough.”

Let’s see if I can fix all that:





Then, I had a meeting with Employee Health, saw people I haven’t seen in over a month, sat at my desk, made phone calls, and left after a few hours.   I could go into more details, but I don’t have any photos for any of that.

Later, I saw these interesting* things:






The End

How do you think I did, with that visual story-telling?  I think I did well enough, despite some challenges.

Now that I’ve written “The End,” though, I’m aware of what I have NOT included, such as:

  • letting my regular readers know that I successfully* used the waterpik before I left for work,
  • reassuring people that I felt okay enough, in my shorter work day, yesterday, and
  • this photo, which was going to be an example of “Things I’m not good at making work”


… which is okay, because that’s a terrible* title, and photo, too.

One more thing:  In case people are wondering whether my story truly was 100% gluten-free, as guaranteed, I did some fact-checking, and found this, on Facebook:

Skinny Cow Hi, Heather! I’m excited to tell you that we have quite a few gluten free options! The list below are all of my gluten free products:
Caramel Truffle Bars
Chocolate Truffle BarsSee More

And that’s all I needed to see.

Thanks to Skinny Cow, Heather, Carl Yastrzemski, the guy wearing the “Excellence” t-shirt, Goodwill Industries, story-tellers everywhere, people who do their best (letting go of judgment and otherwise), and to you — of course! — for looking here, today.


 * In my humble opinion.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Day 505: How to tell a visual story

  1. Good morning, Ann. Hoping your health is improving. If it is nice there, go get some sunshine. (smile) Love, Amy

  2. A most lovely visual story Ann. ❤
    Diana xo

  3. Let’s see. You:

    -Went back to work after a month off with pneumonia
    -Wrote a delightful post as well as a visual essay for fans around the world
    -Considered your readers’ needs for gluten-free treats as well as for Ann updates
    -Tangled with the mystifying, physics-defying, invisible force known as plastic wrap
    -Mastered a new technology that blasts water towards your gums and didn’t run the other way, like many of us would
    -Saw a guy walking sideways through space and time, and righted him

    I’d say that you are doing pretty well — and I’m very glad to hear it.

  4. Reading your wonderfully worded visual post today, Ann, I have been struck by a thought that perhaps I have been precipitously under-thinking the parameters for my posts that I consider visual in orientation.

    Here are my usual goals:

    Put good pictures within my story.

    Put interesting pictures within my story.

    That’s it, Ann.


    I’m glad you had a rewarding first day back to your desk. Rewarded by a Skinny Cow, anyhow. I reward myself with a sugar-free Skinny Cow as an after-dinner snack sometimes. The ice cream sandwich. Delicious.

    Thank you for your illuminative visual post. The sunset picture is gorgeous.

    • Thank you for this, Mark, which — even though it did not have pictures of any kind — was as vivid as can be. Let’s toast to this perfectly parametered comment with … a Skinny Cow!

  5. That is such a cool statue.

  6. I enjoyed your visual story telling and photography post. Think, I will try. Thank you for sharing

  7. I have never seen (nor met) a Skinny Cow. I understand what the chocolatey covering is about. But, what is the utopia underneath? That seems to be a secret worth pursuing.

  8. But as far as utopia… I still have myopia

  9. So I guess there’s no hope-ia?

    • There always is some hope-ia,
      no matter what the scope-ia
      of my- or hyperopia.
      Perhaps there lies utopia.

  10. You are our non-judgmental
    A laureate, our poet
    and historyat

    (Roughly translated, this means that you are the Queen of Rhyme)

  11. You might like to know that I smiled and my eyes stayed longest on the pink sky at night. I enjoyed the story as a continuation of the one we are all following.Thanks for the visuals summary – I am trying to design a book cover at the moment.

    • I did like to know that — which photo made you smile and gaze at, the longest — as well as everything else you wrote in this comment, Hilary. Many thanks, and good luck with the book cover!

  12. Pingback: Day 530: Circular Reasoning | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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