Storytelling for digital photographs: supporting the practice, understanding the benefit

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Landry, Brian Michael
Guzdial, Mark
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The emergence of digital capture and editing technologies make providing a more detailed and coherent description of the experiences depicted in photos possible. Through the combination of photos, music and voice, people can compose digital stories of their life experiences. However, communicating an experience using photos to people who do not share the experience, and are not co-located is a difficult endeavor, even with effective digital editing tools. In this dissertation, I studied the online photo communication challenges that have arisen as a result of the transition from film to digital photography. I detail my studies of consumer desires and barriers related to online photo communication. Also, I present the design and user evaluation of the Storytellr system, which addresses those desires and barriers. The Storytellr system integrates storytelling activities with traditional photo activities to reduce the challenges of online photo communication. Through this work I contribute to the understanding of the challenges encountered by consumers who desire to engage in sharing life stories through photos over distance. I also contribute a method - integrating storytelling activities into photo activities - for enabling people to overcome those challenges using a process they find satisfying, and that produces an outcome that satisfies authors and viewers alike.
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