VISUAL STORYTELLING SKILLS FOR YOU AND YOUR IMPACT-DRIVEN COMMUNICATIONS TEAM
Don't just hire a visual storyteller BECOME one.
Do you work on important issues?
Do you want your stories to create loyal super fans?
Are you frustrated that your stories on Instagram or Facebook aren't making a bigger impact?
Up your game professionally and personally. Your stories deserve to get maximum engagement.
Get connected to your audience! It’s time for you to make a bigger impact!
Interested in finding out how I can help you and your organization?
I HAVE WORKED FOR
The NY Times, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, the International Rescue Committee, UNICEF, the Associated Press and Reuters, among many others.
Hi, my name is Tara Todras-Whitehill
I’m an award-winning visual storyteller and communications consultant.
When I was 28 years old, I moved to the Middle East to become a photojournalist. I landed in Beirut on February 14th, 2005. Ten hours later, a massive car bomb went off and killed the former Lebanese minister Rafik Hariri. Right then, I had to make a decision: Run toward the massive explosion or run away. I ran toward it. I took a lot of pics at the scene of the bombing, but I couldn't sell even one photo to the news agencies. Why? I had a couple of good images of the attack, BUT I didn’t know how to tell the whole story of what was happening around me. That was 15 years ago. During my career I have been a staff photographer for the largest wire service in the world, run my own communications agency and worked with the top NGOs and news outlets -- I know what makes a good visual story.
What does this mean for you?
I want to use my professional experience to help you and your team. I can help elevate your storytelling skills.
I have over a decade of experience telling impactful visual stories. And now I want to help you create a base of super fans and loyal brand ambassadors.
Imagine you make 50 posts that will get 100 views, 10 that get 1,000 views, and a handful that go viral. Wouldn't that be incredible? I wish I had that kind of support when I landed in Beirut -- and now you can have me!
Do you get how to do instagram stories well? If the answer is no you aren’t alone!
And it’s not easy to find good examples to emulate. Here is a short video where I walk through two different good stories and why they are impactful.
but You're thinking
I’m not a photographer. I can sometimes take a few good snaps but I’ve never figured out how to make a compelling narrative through my pictures.
I know a fantastic visual story when I see it, but it's not easy to do it myself or convey to my team what I want.
My job is so overwhelming I don’t know have the time to create good visuals.
Sometimes my stories don’t lend themselves to good visuals… so I just do without.
I'm frustrated that most people only spend a few seconds looking at my stories.
Does this sound like you? That is where I come in...
Become the visual storyteller you were always meant to be
How to identify the elements of a visual story
Learn basic Facebook and Instagram skills that can easily integrate into your work flow
How to align your storytelling with your organization's mission and values
How to best fit your NGO’s brand in a visual story
How to get authentic stories by applying journalist ethics
How to best reach your audience
How and when you can get the best visual assets each month
Basic photo techniques relevant to your organization's needs
How to capture emotional moments for your stories
How to prepare for shoot days, either in the field or at the office
How to work with vulnerable populations and still get good photos and video
How to coordinate your team or colleagues so you can scale what you've learned
How to schedule your stories and on what mediums
How to do basic videography -- working with what equipment you have
How to work with other visual media assets outside of photo and video
I have had the pleasure to work with Tara on more than a dozen projects for my organization, Search for Common Ground, the world's largest peacebuilding NGO. Tara is an incredible photographer and storyteller. She brings deep knowledge to all phases of the production of a story—from ideation and storyboarding to on-the-ground work to post-production and distribution. Her ability to connect with the people whose story she is telling shines powerfully in her work. Her technical expertise is superb and shows in all of her photography (I was amazed by what she did for a gallery installation that required technically very challenging shots). Her creativity and storytelling experience shape a good narrative into a great one. And in her capacity as a consultant in digital communications and storytelling, Tara brings excellent training that I know colleagues in peace and development work who are not trained as communicators have found very useful. I am looking forward to another opportunity to work with Tara in the near future!
Director of Communications, Search for Common Ground
Tara worked seamlessly as an extension of our team during the pandemic. She helped us navigate storytelling during lockdown when production was halted, bringing in her network to help us create digital platforms and content that communicated our impact stories in engaging and unexpected ways. For every block in the road, Tara found a work around! Tara is an expert storyteller; she will help you find the nuggets of gold in your work and build on them. Highly professional, creative, solutions focussed and calm, I really look forward to working with Tara again in the near future
Director of Marketing & Partnership Lead at Girl Effect
Tara understands storytelling like no other. In particular related to impact-oriented storytelling. We live in a world where storytelling is core to many marketing strategies and Tara knows precisely not only how to craft a good story, but also how to engage a community with this story through different channels, each with their own engagement dynamics. Tara is really a one-stop-shop for impact brands and organizations who generate meaningful content. I can highly recommend her!
Camille Van Gestel-Walinga
Tara was a guest speaker in my Global Reporting class at The School of The New York Times's Summer Academy, where she guided students (high school aged) through some of her award-winning photo essays. The students greatly enjoyed Tara's deep and inspiring experience in photojournalism, as well as her thoughtful explanation of the story process and craft.
Journalist and instructor at The School of The New York Times
It’s rare to have a consultant that is not only talented but willing to go the extra mile to make sure an organization is self-sufficient. I hired Tara originally for her outstanding photography in challenging/remote environments around the world. We had one circumstance where we couldn’t access a location and I was particularly impressed by her ability to coach other local photographers in the toughest situations—effortlessly. No detail was overlooked and her creative assets were able to be featured in a variety of campaigns, stories, events, and media. It was only natural for me to bring in Tara to lead our organization in workshops on how to become better storytellers. She taught us how to make the most of limited resources from a real place of understanding and helped us build a larger strategy for ongoing success. Anyone would be lucky to have the chance to work and learn from Tara!
Philanthropy & Communications
You rarely come across a professional like Tara. It was my and my teams' privilege to be coached by Tara in effective storytelling. Her top-notch technical expertise is accompanied with an effortless and to the point communication style. I was particularly impressed by Tara's ability to cut through the static and zero in on practical and straightforward solutions that significantly amplified our work's message. Tara was also very generous with her talent. She was genuinely looking forward to making a positive impact on her clients. Her positive attitude, technical expertise, and pay it forward style was a breath of fresh air. I look forward to cooperating with Tara on future projects.
Country Representative & LIFE Project Director at CIPE
I am only taking a limited number of one-on-one coaching clients because I want to make sure you get the attention you deserve.
spots are by application only
Please schedule a 30-minute consultation with me to determine if this program is right for you.
I know many communications officers that are good writers but struggle with visual storytelling. If this is you, this program will broaden your skills and help you bring in more value to your organization.
I’m not going to lie to you and say that you will be a fantastic photographer or videographer overnight, but there are a lot of skills we can put into action immediately.
If you've put in the work and don’t feel like you’ve gained anything in the first three weeks, then I will fully refund your money. I strongly believe that these skills will help you professionally, and I want to make sure people who are doing good in the world are getting tangible results. This is at the heart of what I am doing.
Of course, life happens! And although we hope those problems won’t arise, I’ll be happy to work with you to reschedule a meeting.
You will continue to live, breathe and be good at your job!
But it will get harder -- the media landscape is changing rapidly and if you don’t know how to create good visual storytelling, captivating an audience will only get more difficult.
So is this program worth it? You're the only one who can decide that.
I can work with your communications team either with one-on-one consulting sessions or two-day seminars at your workplace. We will get to the heart of your story, and help your team create imagery, videos, newsletters and social posts that will elevate your work. It’s an exciting time!