A visual narrative is a story told primarily through the use of visual media. The story may be told using still photography, illustration, or video, and can be enhanced with graphics, music, voice and other audio.
The term "visual narrative" has been used to describe several genres of visual storytelling, from news and information (photojournalism, the photo essay, the documentary film) to entertainment (art, movies, television, comic books, the graphic novel). In short, any kind of a story, told visually, is a visual narrative.
The visual narrative has also been of interest to the academic community as scholars, thinkers and educators have sought to understand the impact and power of image and narrative in individuals and societies.
Distinguishing characteristics of the visual narrative include:
- a persuasive story with a point of view
- high quality images, still or moving
- subject matter with pressing social, environmental, or spiritual value
- an appeal (explicit or implicit) for transformation in attitudes and behaviors
- Image [&] Narrative - "a peer-reviewed e-journal on visual narratology in the broadest sense of the term".