Creating a photo storyboardIf you want to work with a number of photos creating a photo storyboard or visual timeline from a collection of related or connected pictures, will help you to build up a story around them.

A storyboard is a logical sequence of illustrations or images which tell a story (a bit like a comic strip). In film making a storyboard is used to plan out the shots and are typically drawn in pen or pencil but you can also use photos to make up a storyboard.

When you create a storyboard you can plan the overall story line before you start scribbling and you can mess around with the order of your photos until the sequence is right.

The photos you choose for your storyboard should have a related theme which tells a continuous story. The theme can be anything you like so look back through your photo collections and see if you can find a series of photos which are connected in some way. Once you have done this start to create your storyboard by arranging them in an appropriate sequence (this doesn’t necessarily have to be chronological).

Creating a storyboard by hand

If you create a storyboard by hand you could simply layout your photos in the order you want and then stick them to a board or large piece paper. Or, you could stick each photo on to a separate index card so as you rearrange them more easily. If you use this method, write a number on each card (use a pencil so as you can easily change the number) to indicate the order in which you want to use the photos to build up the story.

Creating a storyboard using a computer

If you have your photos stored on your computer you can create a storyboard using specialist storyboarding software (see below) or you could simply create a table in Microsoft Word (or iWorks Pages if you use an Apple Mac) and then drag and drop your photos into the table.

StoryboardThat enables you to create two storyboards a week for free but for £6.99 a month you can create unlimited storyboards. With the free version you are also limited to three and six cells (for pictures/photos) per storyboard but if you upgrade you can have up to 100 cells per storyboard.

Assignment 5

Below is a list of things you should do to complete Lesson 5:

  • Choose the selection of photos you wan to work with.
  • Arrange your photos into an interesting sequence.
  • Create your storyboard on a computer or by hand (there are some additional hints and tips and some useful links in the workbook document for this lesson).

Before moving on the next lesson complete assignment 5 in your Writing the Stories Behind your Photos Workbook.

When you have completed the assignment, click here to go to Lesson 6 More than a caption.

Back to Lesson 4 Looking beyond the photo