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The article includes an audio slide show and paragraphs explaining why so many protesters are outside Jackson Women’s Health Organization.A person simply viewing the slideshow wouldn’t know an important detail: the clinic is the last in the state performing abortions, and state lawmakers are trying to close its doors.Pick up a newspaper and the pages are peppered with pictures.
A person needs more explanation to fully understand what the storyteller is trying to say.
Such is the case of Mother Jones’ reporting on the last abortion clinic in Mississippi.
In a photo essay, both narrative and pictures drive the story; the pictures support what’s in the text, but a person can understand the topic without having to read text or captions.
Pictures are placed throughout text or together in a gallery, usually as a slideshow.
In a photo narrative, the storyteller is presenting a finite number of pictures around a theme or an event to communicate what happened define a situation or show details about characters.
Photo-driven stories evoke a deeper understanding of scenes and details — the color of a person’s car; the scene of a crime; emotions written on a person’s face.Photo storytelling is different from a picture portfolio or collection.It’s not a random collection of photos, or a display using albums from Flickr or Instagram.Al Jazeera’s September photo essay of child amputees in Syria gave me a new perspective on the traumas caused by Syria’s ongoing war.I’d seen photos of unrest in the region before, but seeing a child with a missing leg gave me a new understanding of the suffering and plight of the 20 million people in the country.Such was the case of Oregonlive’s Oregon Zoo babies essay.The gallery includes wide, medium and tight shots of elephants and other animals at the zoo.It’s the most intimate of the aforementioned photo storytelling methods because it means the photographer is focusing on one character or scene, and letting viewers live through the photos.Unlike essays, a story doesn’t usually include multiple places or characters.For example, feature print stories use photos of different sizes and types of shots (wide, medium, tight) to explain how pictures are interrelated.While most online essays disregard size, they can use a variety of shots to show detail.