Telling your project's story


This updated fact sheet provides tips for identifying news writing opportunities and tips for shooting photos of Horticulture Innovation Lab work. Originally developed for a workshop at the program's 2013 annual meeting, the updated tip sheet is intended for use by principal investigators, collaborators and others in the Horticulture Innovation Lab's network. Excerpts:

When does your work become a “story”?

  • Superlatives: First, Most, Earliest, Highest, Lowest, Best, Biggest, etc.
  • Significant milestones: Discovery; Measured a significant impact from your work in the surrounding communities; Published in a peer-reviewed journal with a significant finding; Received new funding of a significant amount, etc.
  • Anecdotes or personal stories: When someone connected with your work, whether a critical partner or a single participant, has a compelling personal story to share about the experience of the project or its impact.
  • Opportunities: When there is a chance that readers might want to join in, whether by attending an event, taking a widely circulated survey or other activity.

When you notice a potential story taking shape in your work, please alert the Horticulture Innovation Lab, so that we might be able to help you craft your story, find an outlet and share your work.

Taking your best photos

1. Take photos of your project as you go!

2. The more photos you take, the better.

3. Best photos show you and your partners in the process of actually doing something
Take a variety of types of photos:

  • Scene-setters that show landscape, show us what horticulture looks like where you’re working
  • Close-ups of fruits or vegetables or tools that you are using—whether with hands, in the ground, on the vine, in harvest, or at market
  • Mid-range show a person or 2-3 people doing something, either waist-up or whole-body (try not to crop out just their feet!).

4. Who is in the photos:

  • Best: Photos of people who are involved in your project, whether as partners, collaborators, participants or recipients. Include their names when sending to us if possible.
  • Less good: Anonymous people—woman in market, man in field, etc.
  • Less good: People as props, back drops or scene decor
  • Less good: Photos with children

5. What is in the photos: Action! People doing things

  • Faces = good (backs of heads/butts = less good)
  • Best: Faces are recognizable
  • Best: What the people are doing is recognizable/clearly visible
  • Whatever people are looking at should also be in the picture

The fact sheet includes information about branding requirements and how to work with the Horticulture Innovation Lab regarding photos and storytelling.

How to tell your projects story & photos


Fact sheet