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Topics: The module will focus on telling a story with photography. The outcome is a content-wise and visually completed project, in which participants present a campaign on Instagram using photography.

By the end of this module participants will deepen their knowledge on photography and storytelling; be aware of their surroundings and expand their horizons of how they can tell an impactful story with a photo; feel confident in using a smartphone and its camera to create a meaningful story.

By: Jasna Ratosa

Time: 3 hours.

Artistic Method

Photographic storytelling is the art of conveying stories, ideas, and viewpoints through the medium of photography, with any camera or phone. It is a way for a person to tell a story with a series of photographs or even a single photograph. In the case of a series of photographs, images are ordered in a specific way with the aim of affecting the viewer’s emotions and intellect. It can change the way the viewers think, feel or act. They can bring viewers to new places, introduce them to new people and create empathy for the planet and those who live on it. Storytelling photography operates within the context of the larger story. Single images in the context of a series can suggest the idea of a story, even when there is no sequential story involved. An additional text, informative or poetic, which tells the story, can add a narrative suggestion to the visual information. The only obstacle to storytelling through photography is the creator’s own imagination.

Required for this session: Smartphone (or camera/polaroid), white paper, post-it, markers, stickers, printer, projector or computer, deck of printed images.

Checking – in & opening round in a circle
(15 min.)

Check-in helps people into a frame of mind for council and reminds everyone of their commitment to the expressed intention. It ensures that people are truly present. Verbal sharing, especially a brief story, weaves the interpersonal net. Check-in usually starts with a volunteer and proceeds around the circle. If an individual is not ready to speak, the turn is passed, and another opportunity is offered after others have spoken. Sometimes people place individual objects in the center as a way of signifying their presence and relationship to the intention.

The opening round in a circle: The circle is a fundamental shape (in tribes, communities) that has always represented a meeting of equals who want to explore and learn together. When we have a meeting or workshop in person, we can establish a circle physically (standing or sitting). The circle allows us all to see and hear each other. We invite facilitators to start an opening round in a circle, as this allows the participants to be truly heard at least once through the activity process.

Check-in “Let’s talk about photography”
(15 min.)

The facilitator invites participants to sit in a circle, facing the center of the circle, and displays a deck of photos on the floor in the middle of the circle where the participants can walk around and see them easily. Each participant chooses a photo that resonates with them. The facilitator invites participants to share what their photos evoke and captures the key themes that emerge.

The facilitator can choose between different options and topics:

  1. photos with which the participants can identify and introduce themselves with the help of a selected photo;
  2. photos that show inequality and the facilitator can open a conversation about safe space;
  3. photos of fierce women and participants can choose a woman that inspires them.

Notes to facilitator: It is important to have photos whose imagery has broad appeal. You can create your own deck by printing images from one of the royalty-free and copyright-free stock photo collections (https://www., or you can purchase one of the facilitation card decks developed and used by facilitators and executive coaches.

Basics of composition: The facilitator presents a gallery of photos and invites participants to reflect on them. Through the discussion, the participants are introduced to the fundamental elements of composition. To establish creativity and refine an artistic vision, the participants need to understand how to compose an image (please see here for examples with explanation: and


Exercise 1 «surrounding»
(15 min.)

Participants stand in one place and without moving around the space, their task is to take 20 different photos. The aim of the activity is to invite participants to be creative with their gear (phone, camera) and surroundings.

Exercise 2 «depth»
(15 min.)

Participants must find different elements in a photo: light, shadow, line, shape, texture, color, size and depth. They have 1 minute for each element.

Pre – production
(45 min.)

Introduction: The facilitator presents an example of a campaign and the fundamentals of storytelling in photography.
Mission of the activity: In 30 minutes, each group must prepare:

  • an idea for the campaign (brainstorm)
  • outcome: slogan (hashtag), statement
  • ideas for a maximum of 10 photos (it can be also just one if done right)
  • answer the question: “What is the impact of the campaign that we want to achieve?“

Work in groups: The group is divided into random groups of 3-5 people.

  1. Each group sits around a table and starts to brainstorm about keywords connected to women in today’s society. Each participant writes ideas on post-it papers and places them on the table. After 3 minutes the participants look together at what they wrote, start to cluster the ideas and choose one keyword.
    Based on the selected keyword the group will define the topic they want to address with their campaign.
  2. Each group creates a short text in which they present the starting points, method, process of the work and a short reflection of the whole campaign.

Beginning of production: Participants in each group start to take photos for their project (explanation of the fundamentals of storytelling in photography:

An example

Campaign Photo Series: #WomenAreNotObjects

The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of society’s objectification of women. They portray women as objects whose desirability depends on their physical appearance and sexuality. Society creates a stereotype of an ideal woman who is pretty, thin and voiceless. Women are not objects.

Post-production: Photo selection and preparation of presentation
(30 min.)

The facilitator shows the participants some basics of editing of the photos. Each group makes a photo selection (max 10) and prepares the presentation of their campaign.

Distribution: Presentation of campaigns
(30 min.)

Every group has 2 minutes at their disposal. The presentation must be quick, meaningful and impactful. They must convince “the public” (the other groups of participants).

The facilitator prepares an exhibition of all campaigns on a wall. Each participant receives 2-3 stickers to stick on the campaigns that convinced them the most.

Together with the participants, the facilitator reviews which campaign achieved the greatest impact and invites the participants to share their reflections and impressions.

Wrap up: reflection
(10 min.)

In a circle, participants share their experiences by answering the question: “What are you taking away from this workshop?” Starts with volunteers and proceeds around the circle. It is important to open the space and just listen to the answers without giving additional feedback. The facilitator thanks each participant for their contribution.