Ed Kashi writes: Why do you do your work? What com­pels you to choose your projects? As a visu­al sto­ry­teller who for decades has focused on some of the most impor­tant issues of my time, I have found in recent years greater oppor­tu­ni­ties and sat­is­fac­tion in work­ing with non-traditional edi­to­r­i­al type clients to pro­duce mean­ing­ful pho­to essays and short doc­u­men­tary films on issues that I care about. In this lec­ture, I share work from projects span­ning the past decade that reflects how our indus­try has changed, and the cre­ative and impact­ful ways I’ve been able to make new work and make a dif­fer­ence. It took me years to under­stand how my work was already hav­ing an impact, and that I could trans­late it more direct­ly into col­lab­o­ra­tive rela­tion­ships with NGOs, foun­da­tions, and non­prof­its, and then uti­lize the media to reach a broad­er audi­ence. I map out dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios that I’ve expe­ri­enced to stim­u­late ideas, visions, and ques­tions in your minds. I dis­cuss the impor­tance of author­ship and main­tain­ing cre­ative inde­pen­dence. Finally, I explain how to effec­tive­ly use the new par­a­digms for pro­duc­ing and financ­ing projects and the impor­tance of expand­ing your skillset to include audio and video.

This lec­ture was orig­i­nal­ly host­ed at VII Interactive, a new resource for shar­ing insights and infor­ma­tion on the craft of visu­al sto­ry­telling. We are build­ing dif­fer­ent plat­forms with­in the VII ecosys­tem, where the pub­lic can engage direct­ly, online with a live instruc­tor. VII Interactive offers pro­gram­ming that is free and avail­able to every­one, in addi­tion to paid class­es and indi­vid­ual men­tor­ing that can be fash­ioned to your needs.