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Multimedia Storytelling: Visual Stories Using the iPhone

August 25, 2013

When I graduated college in 2001, I got my first on-air, television news reporter job at a tiny NBC bureau in southeast New Mexico. My bureau's parent station was the NBC affiliate in Albuquerque, four hours north, so my responsibility was to shoot, edit and produce content for them when needed while also anchoring/reporting for my local station based in Roswell. While my year there was extremely busy, I've always been grateful for the opportunity, because it taught me a lot and equipped me with skills I still use today. I served as a "One Man Band" reporter, which meant I didn't have a photographer helping me. I had to do it at all myself, which at times looked ridiculous when I'd show up in heels to cover an event and yet be carrying in heavy equipment that weighed nearly as much as I did! Yet, I got pretty fast at it, and learned a few tricks along the way. I learned how to shoot interviews by myself, how to shoot standups (me on camera), and how to edit quickly to make our news deadlines. However, once I was promoted to the Albuquerque market and eventually went on to report on the East coast, I didn't need to shoot/edit my own stories anymore. Yet, today as a Public Relations professional trying to take advantage of the new media trends where visual Content is "king", I am so grateful I have more than 10 years news writing and on-air experiene but also that time as a rookie reporter where I shot and edited.

Watch a "How To" Video showing

6 tips for making stories more visual 

Fast forward to 2013 and today there are more opportunities than ever to tell stories. Unlike my earlier days as a young reporter, today communicators don't need a news bureau, heavy equipment or expensive editing gear. Now, the iPhone is making storytellng and brand reporting much more simple and affordable than ever before.


To demonstrate, I recently took my iPhone and an external microphone to the State Fair in Syracuse, NY. I spent just a few hours shooting videos, standups and interviews. Between eating fair food myself, site seeing with my husband and watching shows, I also wrote 6 tips down on my iPhone notes and decided to do an extra video showing Tips that I've personally found helpful. On our drive home in the car the following day, I finished the project by writing the script, tracking the audio and editing the two videos in the car. You'll notice a few graphics and I'll admit those were created on iMovie on my MacBook Air and emailed to myself since the iPhone app is fairly limited.  However, the experiment not only shows what is now possible on the iPhone, but it demonstrates the potential for nonprofits and companies interested in making their own stories more visual. 

Watch a Video example called "Visiting the NY State Fair" showing a story shot, produced and edited using only the iPhone and iMovie.

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