Media Moments Western Reserve Public Media


Making a Photo Essay

A photo essay is telling a story with pictures (kind of like a picture book for very young children). It can actually be a story or it can be directions to accomplish some task.



Students will take photographs which show a sequence of events.

Students will display photographs either in a slide show or on poster board so that they tell a story.




  1. Break the students into groups

  2. Brainstorm possible topics as a group.

  3. As a group, decide what you want to say with your photographs and brainstorm ideas as to how to best get the message across to your audience.       

  4. Decide who is going to do each job

  5. • camera person
    • recorder (records progress of the group)
    • interviewer (if necessary)
    • researcher (should include everyone in the group)

  6. Decide on a plan of action

    • What question will you answer or what directions will you give?
    • What pictures will you need to answer the question or to give the directions?
    • Where will you go to shoot the image?
    • How will you display the image?

  1. Construct the photo essays

  2. Students can exchange photo essays and tell the story that the essay is trying to portray.



Organization of Presentation
4 - Excellent Well-structured and presented in a logical sequence
3 - Good Mostly structured, precise but parts may be unconnected to the rest of the presentation.
2 - Fair Somewhat structured but too much time spent on unimportant material. Disjointed sequence.
1 - Poor Unstructured, strays from the subject. Much of the presentation out of logical order.
Comprehensibility of Presentation
4 - Excellent Clear and easily understood.
3 - Good Mostly clear but some confusion in the presentation.
2 - Fair Somewhat clear but leaves the listener a little lost.
1 - Poor Unclear and confusing. Not understood.


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