Podcast title slide for episode #123 discussing "3 steps to turn 1 photo story into many", featuring a forest background.

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Episode #123

3 Steps to Turn 1 Photo Story into Many (plus a Case Study)


UPDATED: May 15, 2024
ORIGINALLY AIRED ON December 13, 2022


Being an influential conservation photographer means getting important stories in front of as many people as possible. So, here’s the why and the HOW of transforming a single story idea into many published stories so you can reach different audiences to maximize your impact (and maximize the return on your story-creation time and energy investment!).


Accomplish more reach for your photo stories with less work

You spend a lot of time and effort creating beautifully crafted photo stories about conservation issues that are REALLY important.

So it’s no wonder you want to make sure those stories get in front of as many eyes as possible.

Understanding how to repurpose your photo stories, or come up with fresh ways to get that out into the world in front of different audiences, will help you accomplish MORE impact with LESS work.

Imagine the possibilities if you could take a single photo story and tailor it for multiple audiences!

We dig into tons of detail in the podcast episode, plus look at a case study from one of my students, so be sure to tap the play button. 

But if you’d like the quick low-down, here’s a strategic guide on how to breathe new life into your photo stories, ensuring they resonate far and wide.

Step 1: Pin Down the Core Message

Every story has its heart. What’s the big message you’re driving at, and why does it matter? This central theme will anchor the various iterations of your story, maintaining consistency even as you adapt the narrative to different audiences.

Step 2: Know Your Audience

Who’s tuning in? Identifying your audience is crucial because it informs how you’ll tweak your story to catch their interest. Whether it’s adjusting the jargon, swapping out visuals, or shifting the story’s angle, understanding your audience allows you to craft content that speaks directly to them.

Recommended listening: Episode 21 – Want Change? These 3 Essential Questions are More Important Than Your Camera Skills

Step 3: Creatively Repurpose Your Content

Now, with your audience in mind, it’s time to get creative. Consider the many forms your story could take:

  • Educational Articles that delve into the nuts and bolts for an academic or scientifically inclined audience, emphasizing the research behind your story.
  • Feature Stories for lifestyle magazines that connect the narrative to personal interests or day-to-day activities.
  • Opinion Pieces that leverage a stronger call to action, suitable for platforms where advocacy and personal voice resonate.

From a Single Story to a Spectrum of Narratives

Let’s walk through an example to see this in action. Imagine you’ve documented a community’s effort to protect a local wildlife habitat. Here’s how you could transform this single story to reach broader audiences:

  • For Local News: Highlight the community benefits, like flood prevention, which directly connects conservation efforts to local well-being.
  • For a Science Magazine: Dive deep into the ecological significance, discussing the habitat’s unique species and conservation strategies with a detail-rich, scientific slant.
  • For a Travel Magazine: Showcase the habitat’s natural beauty, positioning it as a hidden gem for eco-tourists, thereby promoting conservation through increased visitor interest.

The Impact of Story Diversification

By diversifying your storytelling approach, not only do you expand your reach, but you also deepen engagement, encouraging a wider array of actions from community support to scientific involvement or even boosting eco-tourism. Each narrative angle not only informs but also inspires different sectors of your audience to contribute to the conservation efforts in meaningful ways.

Resources Mentioned

Episode 123: 3 Steps to Turn 1 Photo Story into Many (plus a Case Study)

Shownotes: ConservationVisuals.com/123

(Digitally transcribed, please forgive any typos)

Jaymi Heimbuch:
[00:00:00] Jaymi: Welcome to this episode of Impact, the Conservation Photography podcast. And Joe, welcome back to the show.

[00:00:07] Jo: Thank you. Hello. Hello. It's good to be here. I'm glad you asked me back.

[00:00:11] Jaymi: I always love getting to sit down and talk with you

[00:00:15] Jo: Yes, we always love talking to each other, but whether or not anybody else wants to listen is another story.

[00:00:21] Jaymi: Well, I told Nick hey, so Joe and I are recording today and, but, but we're just, you know, recording really quick. It won't take too long. And he's like, Yeah, cuz you and Joe talking ever is quick. So,

[00:00:33] Jo: Isn't that funny? That sounds like exactly what Gary says. So, yeah,

[00:00:38] Jaymi: Well the last time we talked, , we talked about how to really prioritize time for your creative practice and making sure that you have some tools depending on what's going on in your schedule or your just life in general to still be able to get out there and photograph and to be able to have time for this.

[00:00:56] Jaymi: So when you're not busy having two hour long [00:01:00] conversations with your best friend, you're making sure to pick up your camera and go outside and accomplish things. And today we're talking about, I feel like a really smart way of maximizing use of what you create inside of that creative time.

[00:01:17] Jo: Yeah, and I think, trying to find ways to use something that you've already created in another way, I think is a really interesting idea. I'd love to hear the different thoughts you have about ways that people can do that.

[00:01:33] Jaymi: Yeah, well, I think this is really important in conservation, photography, the idea of taking, Okay, I've created one thing and you know, for the most part we're talking about photo stories, but it doesn't have to be stories that can be a project or a portfolio or whatever it may be. But primarily today we're talking about a story that you've created and how to repurpose that or come up with fresh ways to get that out into the world in front of different audiences.

[00:01:58] Jaymi: And I think it's really important to think [00:02:00] about this in conservation photography because as we've talked about a lot, you are often trying to reach beyond the choir. You're trying to reach different audiences with messages and. Depending on who that audience is, there's ways that they want to see or consume information.

[00:02:18] Jaymi: They're at maybe different levels of knowledge about a conservation issue or they have just different priorities or concerns in their life. So they're gonna absorb information in different ways. So the idea of taking a single photo story that you've worked on and being strategic about repurposing that, to get that in front of these different audiences.

[00:02:39] Jaymi: Coming up with fresh angles, fresh ways to tackle it, and ultimately maximizing how many people see the work that you've created. That's at the heart of what we do to make that big impact in conservation photography.

[00:02:52] Jo: So I can't even imagine what that, what that looks like. So what does that, You can begin to look like

[00:02:58] Jaymi: Okay. I'm so glad that [00:03:00] you're asking that because I do feel like I jump into the deep end when I talk about this stuff because I get so excited

[00:03:05] Jaymi: about it. So before we dive into kind of what that looks like and the different ways that you could think about shaping a story, the same story in different ways to go out, I'd love to kind of go through a few of the whys of doing this because I, I think that it's important to understand how it benefits you and how it benefits the issue.

[00:03:25] Jaymi: Does that sound good?

[00:03:26] Jo: Yeah, that sounds great. Yeah, I love backing up a little bit to get the bigger picture. So

[00:03:31] Jaymi: Yeah, we gotta start it. Let's zoom up to 20,000 feet and, and look at the landscape insert rocket noise here. So, with a photo story as conservation photographers, typically we spend a lot of time and energy on a photo story in part because it's got a message attached to it that we wanna get out to people. We're trying to create awareness about an issue or we're trying to affect change around something or [00:04:00] we have this kind of bigger mission behind that work.

[00:04:03] Jaymi: So it makes a lot of sense that we would wanna try and reach as many people as possible with that work. However, when your story looks a certain way, it might be attractive to only one certain audience. So it benefits you to think about who all you might want to get that story in front of. And when you do that, you're thinking about, Oh, well, audience A might really enjoy seeing compelling visuals with sort of like a overarching introduction to a conservation issue.

[00:04:39] Jaymi: And that's gonna draw them in the most. Diving into the nitty gritty science side isn't gonna be really appealing to them, but audience B, they love that science nitty gritty side. So we're gonna really go into that side of the story for them. And then audience C over here, they're the DIYers. They wanna know how they, how this applies to [00:05:00] their life and how they can actually use this information.

[00:05:03] Jaymi: And so now we wanna kind of reshape the story that way. And so you wanna think about that because it means that you're not just getting your story in front of audience A, you're getting your story in front of audience A and B and C, and depending on what your story's about and your goals and all that, that could end up going from like a hundred thousand people to millions of

[00:05:23] Jo: Whoa. That's kind of freaky.

[00:05:25] Jaymi: That's a big, That's a lot of

[00:05:27] Jo: But it could happen, right?

[00:05:29] Jaymi: Oh, a hundred percent. And I've got examples to to talk about in this episode too.

[00:05:33] Jo: Oh, okay. All right. Well then, I mean, if, if, if that's the case, are you starting, but you're not necessarily starting out the first part of your photo story, thinking about all of these angles, cuz that seems like that would just be so overwhelming and

[00:05:50] Jaymi: Totally. Yeah. Absolutely. And often you don't know. Who else you might wanna get a story in front of until your knee deep in it any way. So yeah, you're not really [00:06:00] thinking about that. This is something that comes a little bit later in the story creation process, but that brings up another great why, for why you want to be thinking about how you can repurpose one story into many.

[00:06:12] Jaymi: And that is that you can ultimately get into different publications based on how they present information. Cuz different publications appeal to these different audiences, right? And so you as the photographer have a chance to, especially if you're trying to build up the number of bylines you have and you know the, your experience and that kind of recognition that you have in getting your work published.

[00:06:35] Jaymi: You could take the same one story that you've worked on and get it into multiple publications because you understand how to reshape. And so even though you might say, Hey, as a conservation photographer, I really care about this one story for this one main goal, this one conservation goal. But once you're in that story, you can be like, Oh, but you know, this element over here might appeal to [00:07:00] this certain people.

[00:07:00] Jaymi: Or you know, if I really wanna hit my big goal with awareness around this, I need to make sure to get it in front of this audience over here. And so while you're in the midst of that photo story project, or even after the first story comes out, you can start to be thinking about how that is. And it's not so overwhelming that way.

[00:07:20] Jo: Right. Okay.

[00:07:21] Jo: That, that doesn't sound so scary. Keep going. Okay.

[00:07:26] Jaymi: and a third reason why I think it's wonderful. Think about repurposing your photo story into many is that it stretches you to think really creatively about the conservation messaging that's within your story. So a lot of times as we first move into conservation, photography and wanting to build these stories to get messages out there, a lot of times we start out fairly myopic.

[00:07:54] Jaymi: And so we're looking at the story and kind of this one way because we know that we have one [00:08:00] message or one goal that we have. Maybe we wanna create a certain behavior change in our community, or we wanna get a certain preserve protected, or we wanna bring awareness around a certain species.

[00:08:10] Jaymi: And so we're only thinking like awareness, awareness, awareness. I wanna get that out there. But when you think about, Okay, well I'm gonna do that, and then afterward I'm gonna figure out how I can pivot and reshape this, you're thinking really creatively about how do I need to adjust the messaging around this conservation topic so that other people will be interested.

[00:08:33] Jaymi: I'm interested in this story and I think it's amazing, but it doesn't necessarily mean that other people are gonna think the same thing. They might not have the same knowledge. Concerns or experience or ideas or, or life experience or anything that I have, so they might not be interested. So how do I

[00:08:52] Jo: Yeah.

[00:08:52] Jaymi: about the way that other people wanna hear about this thing that I'm working on so that they're engaged and [00:09:00] interested?

[00:09:00] Jaymi: And so it really pulls you out of your own head, out of your own experience of a topic and gets you to go into other people's shoes and think about how they wanna see it.

[00:09:10] Jo: so that's like when we went to that reserve down in Fullerton area and there were the golfers

[00:09:19] Jaymi: Yes.

[00:09:20] Jo: next to the preserve, and it was, the preserve was specifically there as an open space to protect a certain species of bird.

[00:09:27] Jaymi: It was the a nat catcher, the California Nat Catcher, I think is what the bird

[00:09:31] Jo: Yeah. And, and so it was, yeah, so there's the golf course next to it. So you had golfers who cared. There's the, the dog walkers that walked on a trail that went through the preserve or next to it. And then there's the homeowners that had their cats go missing from the coyotes that then, you know, But was that so bad because the cats then ate the birds that, and then the spider and then the old lady and then Yeah.

[00:09:58] Jo: You know [00:10:00] and so even just right there, there were three different groups then all were seeing that preserve every day, but had completely different perspectives about what they cared about it or not,

[00:10:13] Jaymi: Yeah, exactly. And so the idea for like why we were there in Fullerton talking to the folks who run this preserve is because they wanted to be able to create an awareness campaign that appealed to homeowner. Golf course users, and I guess birders are conservationists for why this preserve was important and why it needed to be

[00:10:37] Jo: maintained.

[00:10:37] Jo: Yeah.

[00:10:38] Jo: Yeah.

[00:10:39] Jaymi: So Yes, exactly. You're taking one story. Maybe you as a conservation photographer are coming in saying there's this really cool bird species and oh my gosh, isn't it amazing that they utilize this one hillside and we really need this hillside to be protected. Oh, other people might not really care about that cute little bird species.

[00:10:55] Jaymi: They're like, Yeah, yeah, it's a bird. But if you think about, Oh, I care [00:11:00] about Well, I want the place to walk my dog,

[00:11:02] Jaymi: yeah, I want space to walk my dog. And so I really like having this hillside stay open for that or not be developed or, Yeah, so you can come at it in all these different ways and reshape stories based on audiences. And I know that I, I dig into this quite a bit, like inside of my conservation photography 1 0 1 course.

[00:11:20] Jaymi: I love talking about this concept, but also I did an entire podcast episode. It's episode 21 and it's the three A's where I really walk through thinking about, Okay, well what action do you ultimately wanna have out of this story? And then you need to think about your audience.

[00:11:36] Jaymi: And once you think about your audience, now you understand what artifact you're actually gonna create based on what the audience needs so that they act in the way that you're hoping that they act. So episode 21 digs into this concept a whole lot more, but do you feel like we can sort of drift down from 20,000 feet a little bit

[00:11:56] Jo: Mm.

[00:11:56] Jaymi: the issue [00:12:00] So now that we understand why. Thinking about this is so beneficial to you as the photographer, to the audiences that you want to get engaged and interested in issues and to the issue itself. Let's talk about different shapes that this actually takes.

[00:12:16] Jo: Okay. And as somebody who's just internally lazy, I love the idea of reusing something I've already done, but keep going,

[00:12:27] Jaymi: but I mean that's a big component of this cuz sometimes you might spend three months, six months, maybe even a year to develop the story that you really wanna be the big story and you don't want all of that time and effort to just go out into one publication as one story. And then that's it. It's a really great idea to go ahead and say, Okay, well how else can I get this out into the world?

[00:12:53] Jaymi: So that all of that time and energy that I spent over the last three months, six months here is actually [00:13:00] maximized. It's really important.

[00:13:02] Jaymi: So a lot of times we think about photo stories as one thing. It's an article with text and then photos sprinkled throughout. And that's what a photo story is.

[00:13:12] Jaymi: It's an article in a newspaper that has a bunch of images or an article in a, in a magazine that has a bunch of images, and that's a photo story. But photo stories actually take a lot of different shapes depending on what your goal is with that story. So for example, you might have an awareness article.

[00:13:31] Jaymi: So your photo story is really about bringing awareness to an issue. And so it might be sort of a high level introduction to a topic with maybe diving into talk about what some of the characters are doing or threats that a species face. You're kind of diving in to look at, okay, well what's going on in this story?

[00:13:54] Jaymi: And here are the threats and the solutions. And this is just to bring attention [00:14:00] to a concept that's one version of a photo story. But a photo story can also take the shape of maybe more of a howto. So you might say, Okay, well here's a lot of information in the text, but. It's geared toward creating these visuals that get people really interested and engaged in the topic.

[00:14:17] Jaymi: And then you dive into, here's how you can take part, here's how you can take action. Here's how you can be involved in some way. You might create a photo story that's really a how I did this, or a behind the scenes story. So maybe you create that big overarching awareness article and then you also maybe wanna appeal to people who are curious about what it's like to actually create those photo stories.

[00:14:45] Jaymi: You know, there's a Netflix show that, I think it's on Netflix, I don't remember.

[00:14:49] Jaymi: But it looks at each episode is about a photographer and what they do to actually create the work that they create. And people love seeing that behind the [00:15:00] scenes stuff. So there's another way to bring people into this larger issue that you're looking at in your photo story, but it's not necessarily by saying, Hey, look at this issue.

[00:15:10] Jaymi: It's by saying, Hey, look what I created about this issue. And so you can get them interested in the issue almost through this other doorway, this side door into the conversation.

[00:15:21] Jaymi: And then another shape that I think is important to think about as you're developing or shaping a photo story is that you can actually take the same overall shape.

[00:15:30] Jaymi: So let's go back to that awareness article. You can take the overall shape of an awareness article, but the way that you frame it is gonna be different depending on the knowledge level of the audience. So maybe you might frame it one way as an awareness article for people who are already really into conservation.

[00:15:50] Jaymi: And you might frame it another way. It's still an awareness article, but you're framing it in a different way for people who aren't very involved in conservation, and , maybe the language and it needs to be [00:16:00] different, or maybe the images that are in it need to be a little bit different because they're not as in the know right away about a conservation topic.

[00:16:08] Jaymi: So you just are approaching. in two different ways. So yes, the shape of the photo story is the same, but the way you frame it for two different audiences is different. Does that make

[00:16:20] Jo: Yeah. Yeah. And I liked the way that you talked about earlier, , the characters. You might be highlighting different characters. So in one version, it might be about the, the thing that you're actually trying to bring awareness about. And then in another version, You're talking about behind the scenes as a photographer, but then a third version might be the scientists involved or maybe it's the people that live in the area where it's happening, or maybe it's an industry that's affected by it or something like that.

[00:16:53] Jo: And so I liked that idea that you could really create almost completely different stories [00:17:00] around the same topic and the same set of assets that you already have collected,

[00:17:05] Jaymi: mm-hmm.

[00:17:06] Jo: and you already know about because you went and did all of this to get ready for the first one.

[00:17:10] Jaymi: Yeah, that's a really great example. So let's say that it is an awareness article about a topic. You can frame it in one way by really zeroing in on a scientist and the conservation issue that the scientist is working on. And that might be for the audience that is. Already super into the sciencey side of conservation, and then you could create another article that is just zeroing in on, let's say the business owner that's affected by the conservation issue and that can reach an entirely different audience.

[00:17:43] Jaymi: That's really like maybe they're fellow business owners, or not even in the same industry, just like, Oh yeah, I worry about my business and climate change. The example that's coming to mind is a short film that was made by Impact Media Lab, and it's called The [00:18:00] Oyster Farmer, and I really loved their approach to this because the leading character who brings us into the issue of oyster farms and ocean acidification and sea level rise, and these things that are really affecting the industry of oyster farming. The character that anchors us in that is an oyster farmer who doesn't really care about climate change or conservation, but cares about the future of his business. And because of that, because he was so impacted by this, he went on this mission to figure out, well, what all is the science that I need to learn to make sure that my business can stay running, stay up and running?

[00:18:37] Jaymi: And so then he got into the conservation issue because of that. And what a great way to approach the framing of a story for an audience that will relate to the businessmen a lot more than they might relate to the climate issue. And then you could frame it in a different way for people who might relate more to the climate issue and not necessarily the businessman.

[00:18:57] Jaymi: You know, you've got these two different

[00:18:58] Jo: Yeah. Yeah.[00:19:00] So you've got the economic part of it that oyster farmers care about certain things, but businessmen and business people in general care about that. They're this bigger picture of things going on that's gonna affect them. So while I may not be an oyster farmer, I may be have some other business that is reliant on the fact that sea levels are changing, or that the waters are getting warmer, or that the storms are different every year or something like that.

[00:19:31] Jo: And so I'm gonna relate to it even though I'm not an oyster farmer.

[00:19:35] Jaymi: Yeah, exactly. And then there it comes back to the idea of, well, those are probably two very different publications that you get your story into. So you've taken this one story, and now you've had it published twice in two different publications, and you've maybe doubled or quadrupled the audience reach that you have with your story because of just that move, that reframing move.

[00:19:59] Jo: So do you [00:20:00] see, do you see stories then that kind of grow and expand in either their, their topic or their geographic area or something like that? Like maybe you know, it starts with an oyster farm, particular oyster farmer, and, and then someone will take that and then go somewhere else and talk to somebody who has to rely on watersheds in a certain way, or go talk to fishermen in another area or something and then relate the two stories?

[00:20:32] Jo: Or is it usually you just stick with your main subject and you just focus on the different characters around that particular subject?

[00:20:41] Jo: You know what?

[00:20:42] Jaymi: that would ultimately depend on the story itself. And so I, cuz that's a really interesting idea and I think that it depends on what are, what is your story, what are the elements of the story? Who all is affected by the main, So what factor? Like that one big [00:21:00] thing of why universally we really care.

[00:21:02] Jaymi: So sometimes you might find a story that is really only gonna apply to a. Geographic location because it's so specific to what maybe a community is going through, you could still divvy it up into multiple stories to reach different audiences within that community. But ultimately it's just that location.

[00:21:20] Jaymi: Whereas you might find a story that, yeah, it starts out about that one location, but the bigger, so what that like why people care about it applies to you no matter where you're located. And then that way you could pivot and broaden that. Does that, is that what you were getting at?

[00:21:36] Jo: yeah, Yeah.

[00:21:38] Jaymi: so I actually have an example of that if you wanna dig into,

[00:21:41] Jo: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:21:42] Jaymi: So, cuz I know that we're talking about generalities and it's nice to have a concrete example. And a concrete example that I've got is one of my students in conservation photography 1 0 1, her name's Ann Rele, and she created a photo story that was about a movement happening in her hometown. I've talked about this a lot[00:22:00] because I, it's just such a great example of multiplying your story potential. So the movement is called No Moay, and it's about just don't mow your lawn during the month of May so that the flowers can actually bloom and therefore provide food for pollinators.

[00:22:15] Jaymi: It's this really cool, very easy to do movement to help out pollinator species.

[00:22:21] Jo: This is obviously not in California because you don't ever need to mow your lawn because you shouldn't have a lawn anymore in California. Anyway, keep going.

[00:22:30] Jaymi: Yep. So Ann is really interested in just the topic of the American lawn as this thing, this kind of interesting cultural phenomenon that we have. So of course it interests her. So she created this really great story about the movement itself and why it's important and the fact that it's happening in, in her local area.

[00:22:50] Jaymi: But because what's happening in one town matters to pretty much anyone who has a lawn and might be interested in this, she was able to get it [00:23:00] published in the New York Times where it can appeal to this really broad audience. What happens when you get your story into a publication is huge as the New York Times that has both national and global distribution, is you're reaching all these people in different geographic locations who are curious about and interested in that concept, that movement.

[00:23:20] Jaymi: And so she started to get these emails and see comments about people who are like, Well, how do I do this in my area? Or, I really wanna take part and bring this movement to my area, but I live in a homeowner's association. How do you navigate homeowner's association rules or. Who do I get in touch with to learn more?

[00:23:40] Jaymi: How do I implement this just in my lawn? Or I wanna do more than just no mo may, What does that look like? And so she thought, you know, there's a really big opportunity to take this one article that is about the movement. So I'm bringing all this awareness to this movement, but now how can I reshape the same story and put it into different [00:24:00] publications in front of different audiences so that I can address those questions that are coming up, but also reach more people and have it framed in different ways.

[00:24:08] Jaymi: So she ended up taking this story about NoMo May, and she created a, a Pitch to Better Homes and Gardens that focused on ways that you can participate in No mo May. So she has this piece in the New York Times, and I have it up in front of me actually. So the title is in Wisconsin, Owing Mowers Pleasing Bees. Can The No MO May Movement help transform the traditional American lawn, A manicured carpet of grass into something more ecologically beneficial.

[00:24:38] Jaymi: So it is like you can tell just from the title and that subhead, this is a curiosity sparking question. But it's about a big picture issue that affects a lot of people. Anyone with a lawn, you know, in the us And it also kind of goes into like why pollinator decline and lawns are intertwined in the first place.

[00:24:56] Jaymi: So it's really keeping the focus on the movement itself [00:25:00] as this interesting story. Well, then she goes and reshapes it into a piece for better homes and gardens. Where the audience might not necessarily be that interested in something so general, because typically Better Homes and Gardens has a lot of how to, how to garden, how to, you know, grow the biggest flowers or whatever it is.

[00:25:18] Jaymi: So she needs to think about, well, how will I appeal to that audience? So she shaped an article, pitched it, it was accepted, and ultimately the title was Five Ways to Participate In No Mo May and Help Bees this Spring. And the subhead is let flowers in your lawn feed pollinators until other plants start blooming.

[00:25:38] Jaymi: Very practical, right? So it actually is talking about the shift to spring time and gardening. And the story very subtly talks about pollinator decline, but it stays focused on beneficial bugs in your yard. So not like, oh no, bees are disappearing, but like, why you want good bugs in your yard? And so it's this [00:26:00] very effective way that people. Who might not be interested in a larger conservation issue, but are interested in what they can do with their lawn at this time of year to bring in the right kinds of insects. And it gives them a very effective way to actually do that. So here's two articles. They're the same story, but they are shaped in very different ways to appeal to very different audiences while bringing the same amount of attention to a movement that helps pollinators

[00:26:31] Jo: Well, and I love the idea that she took a story that in its heart is a conservation story. Pitched it to a, a publication, a magazine that doesn't have anything really to do with, technically with conservation, you know, Better Homes and Gardens is, is, yeah. About your better home and garden. It's not about necessarily how you're going to make the world a better place through your home and

[00:26:58] Jaymi: Yeah.

[00:26:58] Jo: [00:27:00] Specifically.

[00:27:00] Jo: And yet she didn't even think twice about it. It just, Okay, I'm gonna go pitch it to this group. I, I just wouldn't have even connected those dots as a publication to go to. I love that.

[00:27:12] Jaymi: And that is how you start to really reach beyond the choir as a conservation visual storyteller. When you are thinking about who can I get this in front of in a way that they wanna see it, that still brings that messaging into their lives. That is how you get beyond the choir and start to tease that level of interest, that level of curiosity, that level of engagement that could potentially lead a reader of that better Homes and Gardens article into this movement about pollinators.

[00:27:42] Jaymi: They might be like, So why are bees declining? There was this one little half of a sentence in there that made me curious, and I wanna go and learn about that, and I wanna learn more about pollinators. And then they get really into it.

[00:27:55] Jo: Well, I, I'm completely stuck on the fact of somebody asking her about [00:28:00] how to manage it with a homeowner's association. And, and now I feel like there's gotta be homeowners association publications out there, or newsletters and people just dying for content to be able to send, because they're, they're told to write ones a month and they have no idea what to write about.

[00:28:16] Jo: And it's like, Okay, write about this. And, you know, she could be reaching out to all kinds of organizations like that and may, and maybe they'd be willing to pay her to, to do that. And now you, you're hitting a whole nother set of, of, you know property managers and all kinds of other people that wouldn't even necessarily be thinking about how they're dealing with the landscaping of their area.

[00:28:39] Jo: But that then could be part of a conservation movement. And it's just, Sorry. I'm just like so cool. And now I wanna go brainstorm lots of other ideas. Let's go make Anne do 50 different articles about this one thing cuz there's so many different ways to do it.

[00:28:58] Jaymi: Yeah. Well, and that is [00:29:00] part of why I love this topic is because, yeah, your creative brain gets so fired up. Once you start to see the potential of one story reaching all these different people in different ways, then you can be like, Well, what if we take this little component of the story and turning it into this, and what if we reach this audience?

[00:29:18] Jaymi: And there's so much potential for every single story that you create that you can take, again, that three months, six months, nine months, however long it takes you to create a story, and all of a sudden you have. A couple of years worth of pitching and articles coming out because you're able to reframe and refresh and reach that many more people.

[00:29:38] Jaymi: Now, I am not done with Anne's example because we talked a little bit about how you could take one sort of similarly shaped article but reframe it to get in front of two different styles of audiences. Well, she did that with this, so she pitched that How To Article to Better Homes and Gardens, and that's an audience that may not be super [00:30:00] tuned into the conservation movement.

[00:30:02] Jaymi: But she also pitched a similar style, kind of a how-to article to Sierra Magazine.

[00:30:09] Jo: Ah,

[00:30:10] Jaymi: So that has an audience that is pretty tuned into the conservation movement and Sierra Magazine said, Yes, we want that article. And so it came out and their title was, Are you Ready to Observe No MO May? Why And How to Join In the Burgeoning Backyard B Conservation Movement.

[00:30:29] Jaymi: So notice the difference in the two titles. So in the Better Homes and Gardens, it's five Ways to Participate In No MO May and Help Bees This spring. Let flowers in your lawn feed pollinators until other plants start blooming. Very practical, not not very into the. Conservation side of things, but then here's this other one.

[00:30:50] Jaymi: Are you ready to observe no mo may? Why? And how to join the burgeoning backyard B conservation movement. It's a how-to, but it dives straight into [00:31:00] that conservation issue. Yeah. Cause they know that the audience cares about conservation at the core of what they're doing. If they're gonna do something special in their yard, well, how is it helping the conservation movement that I hold so dear, so they dive straight into it.

[00:31:16] Jaymi: Even though they're both how-to articles. They're just framed to appeal to two different styles of audiences. Yeah. And so this article, it starts with actually talking directly about B decline. The audience is already gonna be pretty knowledgeable about the issue. They are already are gonna kind of care about this, even if they're not super knowledgeable.

[00:31:36] Jaymi: They, they probably have heard about it. They've been following B decline. So it jumps straight into that and then it gets to their so what immediately. Whereas the better Homes and Gardens, they start with talking about the shift to springtime and what should you do with your garden. And well, there's pollinator declines, so here's what you could do with your garden and it'll bring in these good bugs.

[00:31:58] Jaymi: So it appeals [00:32:00] directly to their big, So what, which is I wanna get out in the yard right now and do something and oh, and I also can help out the bugs.

[00:32:07] Jo: So did Ann write all these articles herself?

[00:32:11] Jaymi: In fact, she did.

[00:32:13] Jo: Okay. So that's really cool, but not necessarily everybody. Wants to be the writer. Right?

[00:32:21] Jo: So could you, So you could still pitch these ideas to these public publications and with the different spin of the idea and the publication then would find the writer to write that,

[00:32:35] Jaymi: Exactly. Yes, that's right. That's really the beauty about being the photographer on these photo stories is if you have the interest and the skill set to be able to write something, you could pitch yourself as both the photographer and the writer. Or if you don't wanna do that, you can simply say, I'm a photographer. I've got this really great story idea that matches your publication.

[00:32:57] Jaymi: Here are the images. Do you want it? And then the [00:33:00] publication can match a writer to it. And a lot of times publications do want their own writer and a lot of times, publications love it when the photographer says, Yeah, I'll write it too. , So you totally have the choice of, do I wanna write this or do I not wanna write this?

[00:33:14] Jo: Got it, got it. Oh, nice. So now I'm gonna keep my eyes open as I'm reading different things or seeing different things when it's related, but from a different angle and then I'm gonna start looking at the pictures of, you know, who, okay, who's getting credit? Is it the same photographer?

[00:33:31] Jaymi: yeah. Awesome. I I look at that all the time. Is, is it photos and text buy or is it photos by text? Buy.

[00:33:40] Jo: right.

[00:33:40] Jaymi: So we've talked a bit about why it's such a great idea to think about the same story in different ways, different shapes that it can take, different audiences you wanna get in front of.

[00:33:51] Jaymi: We've talked about some examples and now I wanna dig into some of the steps because, you know, I'm all about breaking it into a process or breaking it into [00:34:00] steps. Sound good?

[00:34:01] Jo: Yeah. You love your three A's and your five steps too.

[00:34:05] Jaymi: I do. Well, I think it's important because it's really easy to take a creative concept and understand what that concept is, and it's not as easy to figure out, Okay, but how do I do that? And so I am all about, Okay, well let's break it down into some how steps. So with this idea, if you are a photographer who's really interested in saying, I've got this story idea, I want it to reach as many people as possible, but I know I can't necessarily do that with the same story over and over again.

[00:34:35] Jaymi: How do I really reshape this and reframe my story to be able to reach different audiences that wanna hear things in different ways and to really maximize views on this beautiful story that I've spent so much time developing? Well, I think that we can ultimately break it down in just a couple of steps. So the first step is, of course, to look at your big picture story and ask that question of, what do I wanna achieve [00:35:00] with this? What is it that you actually wanna accomplish with your story? Cuz again, we all create photo stories, not just because we're like, Oh, it feels good to pick up a camera.

[00:35:09] Jaymi: I'm gonna go take a bunch of photos and then turn it into a story. Cuz. Cuz that's what I do. Yeah. We do it because we're like, I care about this issue. I wanna shine a spotlight on it. Or, I think this is really interesting and amazing and I think other people would find it that way too. And I wanna show other people what's going on, or I want to create some sort of an action or a behavior change and I know that this photo story is a way that I could do that.

[00:35:35] Jaymi: There's always a bigger purpose. And so really getting clarity on what you want to achieve with your story. is I think the first step in understanding how you might position that.

[00:35:48] Jo: Okay, But hopefully you've done that in the first place, right?

[00:35:53] Jaymi: Well,

[00:35:53] Jo: not supposed to ask that question?

[00:35:55] Jaymi: I was actually gonna say, so, and I know that you relate to this, Joe, because [00:36:00] you're the master of asking, Okay, well first what do you want done to look like?

[00:36:05] Jo: Yeah. What? Start with the end in mind. Yeah. Right. That famous. Yeah. So what, does it look like when we're done?

[00:36:12] Jaymi: Yeah. And so, okay, you take your big picture story and then you stop and you can write out a whole list of what it is that you want to accomplish. Or that list might have one single item on it, you could break that down and say, Okay, well I know I wanna accomplish awareness around this topic, but that looks like reaching these five different audiences that all in some way affect that one thing. So like, let's go back to that example of the preserve that was for the California nat catcher.

[00:36:43] Jaymi: Well, yeah. They have one overarching story, which is this preserve is important and needs the funding to keep it up and protected, but they have at least three, if not more audiences that they wanna appeal to. So their ultimate, What do I want to achieve with [00:37:00] this story is, well, I wanna get golfers, homeowners, and dog walkers all on board with being stoked about this preserve.

[00:37:10] Jaymi: So there's at least three different. Outcomes. Right.

[00:37:13] Jo: Right. And that they get that it's special and it's not just a hill covered in a bunch of shrubs.

[00:37:19] Jaymi: Exactly.

[00:37:19] Jaymi: Yeah. Which leads us straight into the second step. So the first step is look at your big picture story and what do you wanna achieve with it? The second step is then, okay, well who are all the audiences that you need to reach that can help you achieve that outcome?

[00:37:35] Jaymi: And what publications have those audiences in front of them? So you're looking at, okay, well we have golfers, we have homeowners, and we have dog walkers. What publications are they reading? Where are they getting their information? Where are they getting their news? Where are they spending their time? So really think about, okay, who are the audiences and where is their attention being spent?

[00:37:57] Jaymi: And that's gonna inform you with, Okay, well these are [00:38:00] the type of publications I wanna get my story in front of. And so the third step is listing out all the different approaches that you could take with the same story that would appeal to those audiences and what it is that they're paying attention to and where they're getting their information.

[00:38:15] Jaymi: So you're really breaking it down to, okay, well what is my goal, my big picture outcome for this main story I'm working on? Who are all the different people, all the different audiences, them I might get that story in front of? And where are they getting their information and spending their time? What are they paying attention to?

[00:38:33] Jaymi: And then you're looking at, okay, well here are the different shapes that my story could take, or the different ways that I could frame it so that it appeals to those audiences when they're looking through the publications that they typically look through.

[00:38:45] Jaymi: So with the Nat Catcher, it might be a golf magazine, or it might be a newsletter that is for that specific golf course for the homeowner's association. It might be their monthly newsletter, or it might be like a local magazine that talks about [00:39:00] goings on, You know, so many towns have a local magazine that just talks about what's happening in the town for dog walkers.

[00:39:07] Jaymi: It might be a dog magazine, like something specific to pet owners, or it might be even approaching pet stores in the area, and if they have newsletters, email newsletters or something. There's so many ways that you could take this one local story and you're like, Well, there's at least three different audiences.

[00:39:25] Jaymi: they're reading all kinds of different publications that have to do with this area. How do I get in those publications?

[00:39:32] Jo: Nice. I like it. And you really didn't have to do a whole lot different in terms of producing the content.

[00:39:40] Jaymi: Mm-hmm.

[00:39:41] Jo: Nice.

[00:39:42] Jaymi: even though it takes a bit of legwork and some energy after your story's created, isn't it so great that you just put in a little bit more effort and your story can have way more reach and impact than it ever could have if you just think of it as one photo story going out to one [00:40:00] publication.

[00:40:01] Jo: Yeah. And, and in this day, digital day and age, the more places that that lands, the longer lifespan it will have. Because in this Google search fu sphere of life, it's gonna be found in lots of different other places. So it has the ability to then start reaching out to lots of other kinds of people with different lakes than, than just one magazine article.

[00:40:29] Jaymi: I love the idea of lots of people with lots of different legs. Hearing about

[00:40:35] Jo: It's, it's, you know, preserving those spring bugs. It's, you know,

[00:40:39] Jaymi: so, Joe, do you think that as I was listing out these steps that I usually take when I'm thinking about this, do you think I missed anything? Are there any other thoughts in there or steps that you might consider when you're thinking about this? Maybe from like a project standpoint?

[00:40:53] Jo: Well, I think like what I asked earlier, which was. Try not to think about too much of it on the [00:41:00] front end because I think that would overwhelm me. and then I would have to be keep re-asking myself what my major goal is. And, then I would stop. So let yourself move forward with what your original plan is and let that grow organically as you go through and have a place to make notes about the ideas as they come up, because otherwise you may not take it to where it needs to go.

[00:41:25] Jaymi: Absolutely.

[00:41:26] Jo: other part of it is be excited about what created in the first place so then that you, you can be excited about doing another angle and another angle and not feel burnt out about. But I'm still talking about bees and

[00:41:41] Jaymi: Mm-hmm.

[00:41:41] Jo: But no, you're not, You're talking to a different audience, which is a whole nother way of looking at it, and you can get excited about

[00:41:49] Jaymi: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. Cuz it can feel, if you're starting out with like, Oh, I wanna have all these things that my story accomplishes, then it feels more like you're sitting there with all these [00:42:00] spinning plates instead of, Oh, well I have this one big thing that I wanna do and I'm gonna create one story, and at that point then I'm gonna figure out how to break it into different pieces and send those spinning like tops instead plates or tops.

[00:42:16] Jaymi: We want tops.

[00:42:17] Jo: Yeah. We want tops. We don't crash when they fall down. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

[00:42:23] Jaymi: I feel like one of our Joe and Jamie episodes isn't complete without you humming something.

[00:42:27] Jo: So You know, and I'm not, I mean, I can't carry a tune in a bucket, as dad used to say. And I and I'm, I'm not a big music nerd, but somehow everything ends up with a song attached to it. I just can't help it.

[00:42:45] Jaymi: Well, it's good. I think that going through life, singing things in your head is a really joyful way to go through it. I love it.

[00:42:52] Jo: Yeah. I just can't sing it to anyone else cuz they don't have no idea what I'm singing, but that's okay.

[00:42:59] Jaymi: [00:43:00] Well, Joe, thank you so much once again for diving into this topic with me.

[00:43:04] Jaymi: It feels so much more fun to get to talk about something with someone else and kind of see what pops up and, and where ideas go. And I just really have a lot of fun digging into this with

[00:43:16] Jo: Well, thanks for sharing this with me and letting me participate. It brings up all kinds of things that we've done together or other parts of my life that I had no idea could be connected to these kind of topics, so, yay. Thank you.

[00:43:28] Jaymi: Yeah, so, and just as a reminder for anyone listening, if you wanna dig in a little bit deeper into those three a's action, audience and artifact, then head over to episode 21.

[00:43:41] Jaymi: I will also link to it in the show notes, so where you're listening, you can just scroll down and find a link to that. And episode 21 is all about those three A's, and really thinking about first, what do I wanna accomplish? Who do I need to get it in front of? And now what shape is this thing gonna take?

[00:43:57] Jaymi: So thank you Joe once again, [00:44:00] and everyone will talk to you next week.

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