You have a story and lots of pictures ready to place on a page. Where do you start? Photographer David LaBelle challenges communicators to start with a big picture.

“The eye eats first,” says David. Although it is tempting to pack a page with a lot of small pictures, focus instead on a few striking images. Make one image—ideally, a portrait—dominant to anchor a photo essay or feature story.

“If your goal is to truly engage your readers, start with dominant art and you will always win,” he says.

Lots of detail requires enough space to read the image. Think about your home television: a large screen enhances your viewing experience.

“The goal is to communicate,” says David. “Focus on the real point of the story. That may mean cutting some copy or throwing some pictures away in order to let a few images dominate.”

Recent examples:

3 utility companies using big photos on their stories in magazines

Give pictures room to shine. From the top left, Oregon Trail Electric Consumers Cooperative used 3 strong images to highlight recent wildfires. A full-page portrait draws readers into a Umatilla Electric Cooperative story. Blachly-Lane Electric Cooperative lets a portrait bleed over both sides of a page for extra impact.

For more photography and storytelling tips from David, visit the Bridges and Angels website.