Visual Storytelling / the Establishing Shot

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Visual Storytelling / the Establishing Shot

Setting the Stage


In the world of movies, photography or children’s book illustration, the establishing shot is one of the most important as it sets the stage for where the action to follow will take place. Typically it’s a scenic shot taken from quite a distance away and could be represented by a wide shot of the Eiffel Tower (if the story takes place in France), a train station, a field of flowers…well, you get the general idea!

Changing Locales

While dreaming up the plot and basic storyline for Who Ate the Gelato?!, I knew almost at once this should be an “on the road” story with interesting locales which would not only move the story along at a good pace, but would also help convince the reader that Jasmine, Topo and Roxanne are traveling far and wide across Europe (and beyond!) in their quest for ice to make gelato! From the Louvre in Paris to a Turkish bazaar with pesky crows, to showing a train traveling through a mountain pass in Germany, I’ve endeavored to use interesting establishing shots each time to create the atmosphere for the appropriate action and dialogue to follow! As a photographer or illustrator you can take some liberties with your subject matter, but it’s best to use establishing shots that the reader can easily identify with, as this gives the story more basis in reality and therefore makes it more believable!

In future blogs I’ll discuss close ups and different angled shots and how they can impart a sense of urgency or joy, depending upon which shot you choose in your storytelling!

About the Author:

Kids Books
I’ve always enjoyed kids books because they’re the most exciting, colorful and FUN to read!