Award-Winning Videographer to Tackle Visual Storytelling at NWCUA’s 2014 Marketers’ Conference

The Sewing Machine is an example of telling one person’s story instead of focusing the camera on “the big picture.” After this video was shown at a conference, $1.5 million in donations poured in.

When is a video worth $1.5 million? Lisa Berglund has a good example.

The Sewing Machine is a story Berglund produced with journalist John Larson for Vision Fund International. It’s about a microloan that transformed a village in a developing country, and when the video was shown at a conference, $1.5 million in donations poured into the organization.

The storytelling was vintage Berglund. Vision Fund International was barely mentioned. Instead, the story was told through the eyes of one young woman.

“I think the key is, instead of telling the big story, go real small and tell one person’s story,” says Berglund. “If you see it through one person, that’s when you move people.”

Berglund was the first and only woman to win the National Press Photographers Association “Photographer of the Year” award. Her craft was honed over decades shooting news for television stations, and perfected when she started her own company, Gold Dog Media. In that role, she is able to tell the stories she loves for television networks and organizations worldwide.

Berglund is scheduled to present a digital storytelling workshop at the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Marketers’ Conference on May 7-8 in SeaTac, Wash.

“We need Lisa’s insight,” says Lynn Heider, vice president of public relations and communications for the NWCUA. “Credit unions are doing wonderful things in their communities day in and day out, but rarely capture the pictures that tell their story. Doing so will help them to have greater impact in fundraising, in raising public awareness, and in growing their businesses.”

Lisa Berglund is the first and only woman to be named Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association. She specializes in working in some of the most remote corners of the world, because she feels strongly about giving voice to people who are rarely heard.

As a consultant for a large chain of television stations, Berglund transformed the careers of hundreds of working journalists who had little or no experience shooting videos – they were the people who normally appeared in front of the camera. Her approach to visual storytelling may seem counterintuitive to people looking for “the big picture.”

“I learned very quickly from some of my mentors that instead of facing the fire, turn your back on it and tell the story of the people affected by it. That’s where you will often find the real story,” she says.

At the Marketers’ Conference, Berglund will focus on basics such as sound and lighting. She’ll also talk about the critical shots to get and the moments to capture. It doesn’t have to be complicated, she says; with the right technique, a tablet, smartphone or simple digital camera can often produce quality digital material.

Berglund will also share insight into how credit unions can use professional photographers. Too often, she says, she has seen companies waste money paying for video presentations that could just as easily have been a PowerPoint. She coaches marketers to use their video budget for more emotionally connective stories with longer shelf life.

“You can use it in so many ways,” she notes, adding, “It pays for itself pretty quickly.”

In addition to digital storytelling, the Marketers’ Conference will focus on effective media pitches, community engagement plans and recasting marketing budgets to leverage digital platforms. In addition, renowned communications coach Anthony Huey will provide onsite interactive message training to attendees. Registration is open online.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

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