Visual storytelling: the latest Mapped podcast

by Randall Snare

In March, I made a short trip to NYC. While I was there, I interviewed my friend Kristen Winter. She makes music videos alongside her day job as a photographer - she mostly photographs musicians (and the odd cat or two).

You can listen to it here:



An artist by training, Kristen decided she wanted to become a photographer during college, but it was only within the last year that she started making music videos.

We talked about what makes a good story when imagery is the driver. And she showed me some amazing videos that she’s made, including:

One of the most interesting things she talked about was how to turn a visual idea into a narrative:

The song (It Beats) is very beat driven, so I wanted [the video] to have almost a tactile sense to it. The video starts with a close up of a gold plated face. But it pans from the cheek to the lips and the texture is very scale-like, so you don’t quite know what you’re looking it. After a couple of beats you see a close up of a pulse and two collar bones. But it’s so close, that again, it takes you a while to orient yourself: what part of the body are you looking at?

Up until [the bridge], everything is happening in normal forward motion. But during the bridge, when the song takes that tonal shift, visually there’s a tonal shift as well, and things start happening in reverse. The end line that’s repeated over and over again is “I need a sea change” and so with all these things happening in reverse, it becomes more chaotic, the cuts become faster and faster and then it just ends.

As the viewer, you have to feel like you’re being taken somewhere.

Listen to the latest Mapped podcast on visual storytelling: my interview with Kristen Winter.


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Randall Snare
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About Mapped.

We're two writers who make web things. We're interested in what makes stories go: in our brains, online, in design, fiction, culture and everywhere.