Photographs, sketches, doodles, graphics – there are so many ways to use images to tell stories.  The explosion of visual storytelling and infographics reaffirms the power of images.

We’ve all heard the quote “a picture is worth a thousand words” – beyond words, I think pictures / images can quickly reach our emotions and connect us to memories.

When looking at this travel story, I recall my pure joy as we walked along the shore of Lac Lugano in Switzerland.  It reinforces for me what an excellent decision it was to join a tour with Rowing the World and how I will treasure these memories forever.

Photographs are a cornerstone to memory collecting, to story telling.  When you are travelling whether on tour or around your town, having a camera to capture experiences or information is essential.  If you don’t have time to sketch or take notes, take a photo so you can do it later.  Taking photographs to include in your visual story requires good lighting and consideration of the composition.  Be sure to take the time to maximize the power of the image.  Also don’t be afraid to photograph details like the delicious meal set in front of you, a quirky bicycle or the sign of your hotel.  Panorama view photos are beautiful but it’s the funky details that make great stories.

Simple sketches can recall bigger stories.  The hand painted coffee cup with my cappuccino was served in a mountain village restaurant that felt like someone’s home.  Our small tour group of six shared a long wood table with the owner and a handsome wine merchant.  We had arrived on Mont San Salvatore via funicolare and then enjoyed hiking through lush and tidy Swiss deciduous forests, all adding to the magic of the experience.

My favourite book this month is filled with beautiful watercolour paintings and sketches of places slowly being lost to the landscape of time.  Maps, buildings and stories have been collected honouring the pioneers of this wild province on the west coast of Canada.

Visual story telling is gaining momentum with the explosion of infographics, social media like instagram, and growth in the field of graphic recording.  A vast majority of the population are visual learners which doesn’t mean we are lazy readers but that as we absorb visual information, we are more engaged and therefore “get” the message or story quicker.

Combining words and images is the cornerstone of Visual Life Stories. The past few stories have been about travel – which we love to do and we would love to talk to you about.  Are you planning a travel reunion or heading off on a bucket list adventure? Are you planning on recording the experience in some way?  We’ve got ideas to share.

Our next series of blog posts will focus on personal stories – life history, achievement, milestones.  Yesterday was Remembrance Day here in Canada, a day to reflect on the sacrifices made by so many during times of extreme conflict. As our warriors age, their stories fade and may get lost.  Memory collecting is a way of helping keep these important stories alive.  Lest We Forget.

In Peace with pen in hand,

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