Creating a photographic story is a process that takes time, research, creativity, and personal reflection. This video series allows you—and eventually your students—to practice and develop the attitudes and skills of an explorer and become a storyteller. Guided by Erika Larsen, you will develop your own photographic story—a story that means something to you and that could inspire others to take action.

The process is broken down into six steps as illustrated by each of the following videos.

  1. Developing Your Story of Place 

In this video, Erika introduces us to her “place” for this assignment: a small town in Alaska near the Bering Sea where a rapid permafrost melt has revealed artifacts from an ancient village.

  1. Photographing Your Story of Place 

In this video, Erika discusses how she approaches trying to capture—connect with—her place through the camera.

  1. Editing Your Story of Place  

In this video, Erika Larsen begins to shape her story by selecting photographs that she believes will most effectively tell an impactful story.

  1. Finishing Your Story of Place  

In this video, Erika begins to edit each individual photograph before sequencing her selected photographs into a story.

  1. Writing to Your Images  

In this video, Erika Larsen talks about how one’s choice of words helps the photographer shape the viewer’s experience with the photographs.

  1. Sharing Your Story of Place  

In this last video, Erika Larsen presents her final story to the community around which she crafted the story. For Erika, it’s this dynamic that helps to bring the story to life; it’s this relationship that gives her story magic and impact.

We invite educators to register in the free self-paced online course “Storytelling for Impact in Your Classroom: Photography”. This course is one in a series of five courses of the National Geographic Education program Storytelling for Impact. The course will provide educators with a deep understanding of the power of storytelling, the strength of photography as a visual tool with which to tell a story, and the value of photography as an instructional tool in their classroom. 

"Storytelling for Impact in Your Classroom: Photography” was developed in partnership with Adobe, a champion for creativity and the power of storytelling.


person who studies unknown areas.


art and science of producing still or moving images using the chemical reaction of light on a sensitive surface, such as film or an electronic sensor.


use of visual, literary, auditory, or other creative media to educate, inform, entertaining, or inspire an audience to take action.