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Photo story

What is photo story .

Photo Story is no longer supported, and is being removed from OneDrive.

Reset my story 

Reset your story at any time. Resetting your story will remove your cover photo, description, all your posts, and all your followers from your story. When your posts are deleted, any photos and videos still on your OneDrive will remain on your OneDrive. However, if you deleted a photo or video from your OneDrive that’s posted on your story, the photo or video will be deleted forever.  

Warning:  Resetting your photo story can’t be undone. 

To reset your story... 

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Deleting images and posts 

To delete a photo or video from your photo story, choose the post, select … then Delete post

Deleting a post does not remove the image from your OneDrive. To delete a photo from everywhere you need to delete both your photo story post and the original file from your OneDrive.

Photo story is a secure place to view and share your memories. Stories are always private. You can’t search for someone’s photo story in OneDrive or on search engines, and no one can search for yours. You can have peace of mind knowing that only the people you share with will be able to view your story. 

Check out more info in the Privacy Statement .  

Frequently asked questions 

Do i need a subscription to use photo story .

No, you do not need to be subscribed to Microsoft 365 to use photo story. Right now, all you need is a Microsoft account. To learn more about Microsoft accounts, check out How to create a new Microsoft account . 

How do I search for other stories? 

There is no way to search for other stories on photo story. You must be either invited with your email or sent a link in a message from someone to follow their story.  

Why should I use photo story? 

Photo Story is a safe, secure, ad-free way to share your memories with friends and family that’s part of your Microsoft account.  

Related links

OneDrive help & learning - Microsoft Support 

Get help with your Microsoft account  

Upload photos and files to OneDrive ( 

Organize and find photos in OneDrive ( 

Automatically save photos and videos with OneDrive for Android ( 


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Download and test Photostory easy for free

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Give life to your most precious memories by transforming them into impressive slideshows. Test MAGIX Photostory easy for free and effortlessly transform photos and video clips into fascinating slideshows with text, music and incredible effects.

Test the beginner slideshow creation program absolutely free

A clear, easy-to-use user interface combined with unique wizards for automatic optimization, effect design and dubbing make it easier to create slideshows than ever before.

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Photo Story 3 for Windows

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Key Details of Photo Story 3 for Windows

  • Process your digital photos and create slide shows for sharing
  • Last updated on 11/23/04
  • There have been 0 updates within the past 6 months


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Full specifications, what's new in version 3.0.1115.11, operating systems, related software.

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Microsoft Announces Updated Microsoft Plus! Digital Media Edition With New Plus! Photo Story 2

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REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 14, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of an enhanced version of the popular Plus! Digital Media Edition, the ultimate photo, music and movie enhancement pack for Microsoft® Windows® XP. With enhancements based on customer requests, this new version available for the holidays adds exciting new features, including Plus! Photo Story 2, which enables digital camera owners to create Video CDs of their photo stories for playback in most consumer DVD players, and the addition of 10 new dancers to the already popular Plus! Dancer feature. In addition, Microsoft is releasing Plus! Photo Story LE and Plus! Dancer LE, free trial versions of two of the most popular Plus! Digital Media Edition features that enable customers to experience many of the capabilities for themselves before buying.

“Plus! Digital Media Edition is the perfect companion for digital camera owners who will love how Plus! Photo Story 2 gives them an entirely new way of experiencing, sharing and showing off their photos,” said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “For consumers who want to try before they buy, the free trial versions of Photo Story 2 and Plus! Dancer give a taste of what the excitement of Plus! Digital Media Edition is all about.”

Plus! Photo Story 2: The Perfect Companion for Digital Camera Owners

Plus! Photo Story 2 with Video CD burning enables even greater enjoyment of two of the hottest consumer devices: digital cameras and DVD players. Now digital camera owners can use Plus! Photo Story 2 to easily create a digital slide show complete with their own narration and music using their digital photos and burn it onto a recordable CD (CD-R) that can be played back in most consumer DVD players. In addition, Plus! Photo Story 2 adds to the existing ability to share and enjoy photo stories with friends and family via e-mail, the Web or a Windows Mobile (TM) 2003-based Pocket PC. Plus! Photo Story 2 Video CD burning is powered by technology from Sonic Solutions.

Additional features have been added to Plus! Photo Story 2 in response to enthusiastic customer requests. The new project-level editing feature, for example, allows users to save a photo story work in progress and return at a later date to continue editing. In addition, the new picture browser within Plus! Photo Story 2 offers powerful integration for importing photos by date taken, keyword, event, ratings and more, and also offers resizable thumbnail previews to get exactly the right pictures — every time. Photos also can be imported easily from MSN® Groups and Digital Image Suite 9.

To give consumers a taste of what Photo Story can create, there are samples of exciting new Plus! Photo Stories available for download, including those by baseball legend Willie Mays (photo story narrated by Bob Costas), Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno, comedian Al Franken and baseball legend Yogi Berra. These photo stories can be found at .

Ten New Plus! Dancers for the Desktop

Since the launch of Plus! Digital Media Edition, Plus! Dancers have quickly become a phenomenon with more than 2 million downloaded since they were first introduced in January. In response to the strong interest from customers, the updated version of Plus! Digital Media Edition includes 10 new Plus! Dancers, with styles including 1960s retro, country-western, rave, hoofing (combining tap and hip-hop) and cheer. These lifelike animated characters groove to the beats of the music that’s playing on the desktop. Other new dancers include five action heroes from popular Xbox® and PC games.

More Exciting Features in Plus! Digital Media Edition

Pocket PC users will enjoy Plus! Sync & Go for Pocket PC,* which enables them to automatically bring their favorite content onto their Pocket PC from the Media Library in Windows Media Player 9 Series and from leading Internet-based content providers. Users can enjoy timely content on the go from leading news sources such as CBS MarketWatch, CNBC,, National Public Radio and, as well as other great content providers such as Inc., Indy Racing League, KenRadio Broadcasting, OverDrive Inc., Warner Music Group, Webtalkguys World Radio Show and Xbox.

Plus! Party Mode turns the PC into the ultimate party jukebox, complete with visual effects, song and artist displays, and an interactive guest book, while restricting access to personal files and information.

Plus! Analog Recorder enables vinyl record enthusiasts to easily create clean, vibrant digital copies of their aging records or cassette tapes using automatic hiss-and-pop reduction and automatic track-splitting.

Plus! Audio Converter is an easy-to-use conversion tool offering fast conversions between audio file formats. Files can be converted from MP3 and WAV to Windows Media® Audio (WMA) or from WMA to MP3 (if a compatible MP3 encoding plug-in for Windows Media Player 9 Series is installed).

With Plus! CD Label Maker, users can create and print eye-catching CD covers and labels in just four easy steps.

The Plus! Alarm Clock turns the PC into a full-featured alarm clock that can play music from a user’s library of favorite tunes.

The Plus! Sleep Timer allows users to fall asleep to the music they choose by gradually decreasing volume over time.

Plus! Digital Media Edition also contains high-quality skins for Windows Media Player 9 Series , giving users more choices for personalizing their player.

Home movie fans will enjoy 50 stunning effects and transitions , created by Pixelan Software LLC, for Windows Movie Maker 2 for Windows XP , the completely redesigned video-editing feature for Windows XP that takes fast and easy home video creation to a new level.

Free Trial Versions of Plus! Photo Story and Plus! Dancer Available Today

To give consumers a taste of the exciting features of Plus! Digital Media Edition, and enable them to try before they buy, Microsoft today released free trial versions of two of the most popular Plus! features, Plus! Photo Story 2 LE and Plus! Dancer LE.

Plus! Photo Story 2 LE enables digital camera owners to quickly and easily create their own photo stories with up to five photos, and include narration and background music to personalize their own digital slide show.

Plus! Dancer LE offers three sample dancers to try out, including hip-hop and tango dancers, as well as a special animated Halloween character named “Boo Who?” (a special surprise for anyone who has used Microsoft Office).

Plus! Photo Story 2 LE and Plus! Dancer LE can be downloaded today free of charge at .


The updated version of Plus! Digital Media Edition is available today from and has been released to manufacturing for retail store shipment in time for the holidays for an estimated retail price of only $19.95 (U.S.). The new features are also available via download as a free upgrade for existing Plus! Digital Media Edition owners at . Plus! Digital Media Edition is also available at leading software retailers and by many top computer manufacturers worldwide.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003-powered Pocket PC, Microsoft Windows Powered Pocket PC with Microsoft Pocket PC 2002 software, or Compaq iPAQ with Microsoft Pocket PC 2000 software

Microsoft, Windows, Windows Mobile, MSN, Xbox and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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Microsoft Photo Story

Microsoft Photo Story 3.01 Photo slideshow creator for Windows

Fernando Ortega

Software tool that allows users to create photo slideshows with music, effects and narration, making it easy to share memories.

Screenshot of Microsoft Photo Story - Build slideshows from pictures

Image slideshow creation application for Windows XP that can apply touch-up, crop, rotation and other image improvements inside of the application during a slideshow.

Features of Microsoft Photo Story

  • 3D Effects : Add 3D effects to photos and videos.
  • Animations : Add animations to bring your story to life.
  • Captions : Add captions to photos and videos.
  • Capturing : Capture photos and videos from digital cameras.
  • Multiple Formats : Export stories in multiple formats.
  • Music : Include background music to enhance your story.
  • Narration : Record narration to accompany your story.
  • Pan & Zoom : Create pan and zoom effects to add motion to your story.
  • Photo Editing : Professional level tools for enhancing images.
  • Sharing : Create and share stories with friends and family.
  • Slideshow : Create beautiful slideshows from photos and videos.
  • Themes : Choose from several pre-made themes to customize your story.
  • Transition Effects : Create seamless transitions between photos and videos.

Compatibility and License

Is microsoft photo story free to download.

Microsoft Photo Story is provided under a freeware license on Windows from image viewer software with no restrictions on usage. Download and installation of this PC software is free and 3.01 is the latest version last time we checked.

Is Microsoft Photo Story for Windows 10?

  • Microsoft Photo Story Download
  • Free Image Viewer Software
  • Slideshow Creation Software
  • Software for Windows 10

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5 Simple ideas to start your own photo story now

Heard the buzz about content repurposing but really wondering how the hell you actually do it?! Click here to learn 15 easy ways to repurpose your blog posts, YouTube videos, and emails to get more life out of your content . Thanks for visiting!

Table of Contents

Every photo tells a story, so it goes to stand that a series of photos can tell an even richer story. However; it’s overwhelming to figure out how to start. You have to decide what issues you’re interested in, who to photograph, and get permission. That’s why I’m sharing 5 simple ideas to start your own photo story in this blog post.

This blog is a companion to my free course, Create A Compelling Photo Story In 1 Week . Below, you’ll find examples of successful and moving photo story projects plus ideas for you to start photographing your own photo story.

Create a Compelling Photo Story helps you get started with a project right away. it’s not as hard as you think to find a fascinating subject for your photo story. I want you to be able to begin this course with an accessible subject, so you can focus on building your storytelling skills.

Why try series photo stories?

Go deeper, tell a more complete story, build your technical skills, challenge yourself. But, don’t get sentimental and be tempted to include unnecessary images. In the course, I give you some guidelines to assess which photos belong in your sequence, and which you should discard.

One of the simple ideas to start your own photo story is to focus on family

Okay, here are the 5 simple ideas to start your own photo story I promised.

#1 start with a family member.

Why not start with a family member? Your kids, your partner, your parents, or someone you consider like family. Here are a few simple things you can capture:

  • Children – Kids offer the opportunity to capture remarkable changes over a relatively short period of time. Consider taking photos of your kids as they grow: their firsts, like the first time they walk, their first swimming lesson, or the first time they breastfeed. Think about how you can document their attitude, their emotions, and what makes them unique.(Becs Viveash, who owns Viveash Photography , makes beautiful photographs of her children.)
  • Partner – Capture your partner’s routine, metamorphosis, interests, or love offerings. ( Maureen Drennan documented her husband’s depression (some nudity) but aside from sharing his struggle, she used photography as a tool for processing a difficult situation. In the Feature Shoot article about her work, she says she wasn’t sure if photographing him would be the right choice since he was really struggling with depression. “She was hesitant at the onset, fearing she would ‘isolate him further by picking up the camera.’ When she did, she found it became a lifeline tying them together.”) I agree that photography can be a tool to bring people together if you use it right.
  • Or, your relationship with your partner: Capture moments together, good and bad, and see how things evolve over months/years. (Pixy Lao explored gender roles with portraits of her boyfriend and herself (some nudity). Her images shocked some because she subverted the power dynamics people are used to in heterosexual relationships. She says of how the work affected her relationship, “The project has made us partners. This project is based on our relationship and grows with our relationship.”)
  • Parents: How about a series of photos to document a parent’s fall romance, their hobby, or the aging process. There are many impressive photo series chronicling aging parents’ earthly goodbyes. Yet there is still room for more good work.

When we strive to make our work and vision deeply personal, it can only add to a specific genre because no two experiences are the same.

5 Simple Ideas to Start Your Own Photo Story

#2 Like family, focus on your pet

Cats have always been a part of my life. When I was a kid, cats would just show up at our rural home in West Virginia. I don’t remember a catless time. So, it only stands to reason that I love taking photos of my cats.

When I was a kid, we had a cat who’d been caught in a bear trap and limped. And another, who had only three legs (aptly named Tripod), but who could climb a tree at full speed. We found Puss N’ Boots at a canal. She was so hungry, my parents were able to lure her to their car with prunes. After getting healthy, she became a trick cat. Standing on her back legs, she’d swat at the gnats circling her head.

Photographing animals is a different task than just loving them, though. Let’s be honest, you probably see tons of photographs and videos of animals online; many of us spend more time than we’d like to admit watching animal videos. There is something undeniably entertaining about pets. 

But there are a few important questions you should ask yourself in order to make good photos of your pets. How can I:

  • Create images of my pets that convey their unique qualities?
  • Show their personality?
  • Make photos that show them as dynamic characters (not one-dimensional), and let their stories emerge?

And will I:

  • Document their relationship with a human or another animal, or focus on only one pet at a time?

For some reason, if I try to take his photograph, he usually turns his head. I’m not sure what’s exactly ‘right’ or ethical when considering whether animals are okay with photographs. But if they seem unbothered, then it seems okay, right. That makes pets a good bet for a photo project.

5 Simple Ideas to Start Your Own Photo Story

#3 Capture someone who creates handmade things

I love watching people do things by hand. And, luckily, many artisans and creatives are open to being photographed.

Imagine if you created handmade things and someone wanted to follow your journey and learn more about your work. How would you feel? Honored, right? Share with potential subjects why you are interested in taking their photographs. What part of their work you want to capture and how you plan to use the photographs. They may be interested in using some of the images for their own marketing–so it can be a win-win in many cases.

In Indonesia, there are so many tradespeople, artisans, and small business owners who create handmade products from scratch. I wanted to learn more about these micro-entrepreneurs and that’s why I created the series of photographs, Odd Jobs . 

Also, assuage your potential subject’s fears; maybe they feel shy and not very confident about their body. If your potential subject isn’t open to photographs of their face, ask if you can make images of just their hands while they work. Perhaps once they’ve learned that you’re not threatening, and you’ve developed a deeper relationship with them, you can revisit taking photographs of their face.

The more vulnerable and open you are with your potential subjects, the more they will trust you.

These days people create tons of videos for social media. From making a cake to building homes, it’s become the norm to document.

So, it may be easy to get permission (whether explicit or implied with a smile) to photograph one time. However, creating an ongoing relationship where you document your subject over time takes care and an ethical approach. But it’s definitely possible!

Farmers and farmer's markets make great subjects for a documentary photo project

#4 Follow the journey of a farmer or a farmer’s market worker

There are a few great things about photographing at farmers’ markets. You get to meet interesting people plus the colorful produce is totally stimulating. There is a cornucopia of shapes and textures, and there are great backgrounds for human interest shots. Btw, I recently wrote about how endlessly fascinating I find fruit and veggies . Judging from the response, I am not the only one. 

Also, farmers’ market-goers are usually in a good mood because the markets have a festive atmosphere. Therefore, many of them are open to photographs. Also, the people working the stands are there to engage with people. The vibe is markedly different than visiting most grocery stores. That’s why gaining access to photograph people at farmers’ markets isn’t usually that difficult.

I’d consider farmers’ markets a strong contender as a simple idea to start your own photo story.

Similar to people who work at farmers’ markets, farmers themselves are often interested in getting to know people from their community. Especially farmers involved in organic or community farming initiatives, who are glad to share information about their farming practices. They enjoy educating people about where their food comes from.

Do some research and find out what’s being grown in your area. Next, see if you can visit the farm. I enjoy the work of Yolanta Siu who is currently documenting farming projects in Jeju, South Korea.

A sweaty day on my deck, shadows cast across my face from the shelf above me.

#5 Never underestimate the power of a self-portrait project

Depending on your personality, you may think this is either the easiest or the toughest photo story idea on this list. For me, defining important moments in my life and how to convey them visually with images is not easy. But I took a self-portraiture class in fine arts school and it was a great learning experience.

There is something about seeing yourself immortalized in photographs that can make certain aspects of your life more clear.

There are tons of ways to approach self-portraiture. You can focus on honing your concept, or decide to use the portraits as a chance to study light. Luckily, if you are documenting yourself, you already have your own permission. However, sometimes it takes time to warm up and really feel like yourself in the photos. The important thing to remember is that you’re in control!

You don’t need a lot of tools. But you should learn to set your camera up on a tripod or shelf. You will be using the camera’s self-timer a lot.

Another option is to set up the photographs and then get a friend’s help with holding the camera. I enjoyed this project by Jim Allen Abel. It makes social commentary with self-portraits in different Indonesian official uniforms with Abel’s face obscured. Jimbo told me that he prepared and posed all the photos, despite not owning a camera at the time.

Besides Jimbo’s project, there are tons of photographers who take photographs of themselves. If you need examples, do a quick Google search.

So, there you have it, 5 simple ideas to start your own photo story . Are you ready to get out and photograph? Or are you still asking yourself, “But, how do you really START a photo story?”

Well, that’s where I swoop in to help you like a photo coaching superhero. Earlier in the article, I mentioned a FREE email course I designed. It’s called, Create A Compelling Photo Story In One Week . 

My course takes you through the planning process. It teaches you to really hone in on your goals. First, who you’ll photograph, next, what story you plan to tell, and finally, how you will structure and edit it.

I’m hearing good things about the class so far. 

Gillian says, “I’m a writer and blogger, but I use my Instagram feed heavily, and I’m loving this course and thinking about telling a story visually rather than in words.” 

And Mira mentions that she likes the way the course explains the difference between a photo story and photo essay. She also says, “So far [the course] is extremely clear, insightful and helpful even as a photographer!”

Telling stories with images

There is a big difference between taking one great photo and being able to tell a cohesive story through photography. That’s why I felt there was a need for this course, which walks you through step-by-step, to plan and execute your own engaging photo story. The best part? At the end of the week, you’ll have a finished body of work. You can submit it to an exhibit or publication, share it on social media, or just put up on your wall.

So, want to sign up? Here’s a link to the free email course .

free photo course learn to tell a photo story

After reading this blog, do you know who you’ll be photographing? In the comments below, I’d love to hear!

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Willow Paule

Welcome to my blog

I’m Willow Paule, a content creator and photographer and I split my time between Asia and the US.

On this blog, I share in-depth articles about content strategy, content repurposing, working from home, & owning an ethical business.

What brought you here? Are you a coach, entrepreneur, or creative? I love to get to know my readers in a comment, or an email. Thanks for being here!

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My visual storytelling course students who are part of the refugee community in Jakarta Indonesia

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7 hot photo projects that capture summer while building your photographic skills

When should you use your mobile phone to take photos, and when is it better to use your digital camera? 14 amateur and professional photographers weigh in. Also, learn 7 tips to make better cell phone photos.

When is the best time to just use your phone camera & how can you get the best results possible? Experts and amateurs weigh in.

Whether you’re looking for ways to reuse blog articles, youtube videos, previous emails to your list, or hell, even old crumpled up notes you found on your desk, my handy repurposing guide will help you figure out the perfect medium to get your ideas out there..

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How to Create an Engaging Photo Essay (with Examples)

Photo essays tell a story in pictures. They're a great way to improve at photography and story-telling skills at once. Learn how to do create a great one.

Learn | Photography Guides | By Ana Mireles

Photography is a medium used to tell stories – sometimes they are told in one picture, sometimes you need a whole series. Those series can be photo essays.

If you’ve never done a photo essay before, or you’re simply struggling to find your next project, this article will be of help. I’ll be showing you what a photo essay is and how to go about doing one.

You’ll also find plenty of photo essay ideas and some famous photo essay examples from recent times that will serve you as inspiration.

If you’re ready to get started, let’s jump right in!

Table of Contents

What is a Photo Essay?

A photo essay is a series of images that share an overarching theme as well as a visual and technical coherence to tell a story. Some people refer to a photo essay as a photo series or a photo story – this often happens in photography competitions.

Photographic history is full of famous photo essays. Think about The Great Depression by Dorothea Lange, Like Brother Like Sister by Wolfgang Tillmans, Gandhi’s funeral by Henri Cartier Bresson, amongst others.

What are the types of photo essay?

Despite popular belief, the type of photo essay doesn’t depend on the type of photography that you do – in other words, journalism, documentary, fine art, or any other photographic genre is not a type of photo essay.

Instead, there are two main types of photo essays: narrative and thematic .

As you have probably already guessed, the thematic one presents images pulled together by a topic – for example, global warming. The images can be about animals and nature as well as natural disasters devastating cities. They can happen all over the world or in the same location, and they can be captured in different moments in time – there’s a lot of flexibility.

A narrative photo essa y, on the other hand, tells the story of a character (human or not), portraying a place or an event. For example, a narrative photo essay on coffee would document the process from the planting and harvesting – to the roasting and grinding until it reaches your morning cup.

What are some of the key elements of a photo essay?

  • Tell a unique story – A unique story doesn’t mean that you have to photograph something that nobody has done before – that would be almost impossible! It means that you should consider what you’re bringing to the table on a particular topic.
  • Put yourself into the work – One of the best ways to make a compelling photo essay is by adding your point of view, which can only be done with your life experiences and the way you see the world.
  • Add depth to the concept – The best photo essays are the ones that go past the obvious and dig deeper in the story, going behind the scenes, or examining a day in the life of the subject matter – that’s what pulls in the spectator.
  • Nail the technique – Even if the concept and the story are the most important part of a photo essay, it won’t have the same success if it’s poorly executed.
  • Build a structure – A photo essay is about telling a thought-provoking story – so, think about it in a narrative way. Which images are going to introduce the topic? Which ones represent a climax? How is it going to end – how do you want the viewer to feel after seeing your photo series?
  • Make strong choices – If you really want to convey an emotion and a unique point of view, you’re going to need to make some hard decisions. Which light are you using? Which lens? How many images will there be in the series? etc., and most importantly for a great photo essay is the why behind those choices.

9 Tips for Creating a Photo Essay

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Credit: Laura James

1. Choose something you know

To make a good photo essay, you don’t need to travel to an exotic location or document a civil war – I mean, it’s great if you can, but you can start close to home.

Depending on the type of photography you do and the topic you’re looking for in your photographic essay, you can photograph a local event or visit an abandoned building outside your town.

It will be much easier for you to find a unique perspective and tell a better story if you’re already familiar with the subject. Also, consider that you might have to return a few times to the same location to get all the photos you need.

2. Follow your passion

Most photo essays take dedication and passion. If you choose a subject that might be easy, but you’re not really into it – the results won’t be as exciting. Taking photos will always be easier and more fun if you’re covering something you’re passionate about.

3. Take your time

A great photo essay is not done in a few hours. You need to put in the time to research it, conceptualizing it, editing, etc. That’s why I previously recommended following your passion because it takes a lot of dedication, and if you’re not passionate about it – it’s difficult to push through.

4. Write a summary or statement

Photo essays are always accompanied by some text. You can do this in the form of an introduction, write captions for each photo or write it as a conclusion. That’s up to you and how you want to present the work.

5. Learn from the masters

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Making a photographic essay takes a lot of practice and knowledge. A great way to become a better photographer and improve your storytelling skills is by studying the work of others. You can go to art shows, review books and magazines and look at the winners in photo contests – most of the time, there’s a category for photo series.

6. Get a wide variety of photos

Think about a story – a literary one. It usually tells you where the story is happening, who is the main character, and it gives you a few details to make you engage with it, right?

The same thing happens with a visual story in a photo essay – you can do some wide-angle shots to establish the scenes and some close-ups to show the details. Make a shot list to ensure you cover all the different angles.

Some of your pictures should guide the viewer in, while others are more climatic and regard the experience they are taking out of your photos.

7. Follow a consistent look

Both in style and aesthetics, all the images in your series need to be coherent. You can achieve this in different ways, from the choice of lighting, the mood, the post-processing, etc.

8. Be self-critical

Once you have all the photos, make sure you edit them with a good dose of self-criticism. Not all the pictures that you took belong in the photo essay. Choose only the best ones and make sure they tell the full story.

9. Ask for constructive feedback

Often, when we’re working on a photo essay project for a long time, everything makes perfect sense in our heads. However, someone outside the project might not be getting the idea. It’s important that you get honest and constructive criticism to improve your photography.

How to Create a Photo Essay in 5 Steps

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1. Choose your topic

This is the first step that you need to take to decide if your photo essay is going to be narrative or thematic. Then, choose what is it going to be about?

Ideally, it should be something that you’re interested in, that you have something to say about it, and it can connect with other people.

2. Research your topic

To tell a good story about something, you need to be familiar with that something. This is especially true when you want to go deeper and make a compelling photo essay. Day in the life photo essays are a popular choice, since often, these can be performed with friends and family, whom you already should know well.

3. Plan your photoshoot

Depending on what you’re photographing, this step can be very different from one project to the next. For a fine art project, you might need to find a location, props, models, a shot list, etc., while a documentary photo essay is about planning the best time to do the photos, what gear to bring with you, finding a local guide, etc.

Every photo essay will need different planning, so before taking pictures, put in the required time to get things right.

4. Experiment

It’s one thing to plan your photo shoot and having a shot list that you have to get, or else the photo essay won’t be complete. It’s another thing to miss out on some amazing photo opportunities that you couldn’t foresee.

So, be prepared but also stay open-minded and experiment with different settings, different perspectives, etc.

5. Make a final selection

Editing your work can be one of the hardest parts of doing a photo essay. Sometimes we can be overly critical, and others, we get attached to bad photos because we put a lot of effort into them or we had a great time doing them.

Try to be as objective as possible, don’t be afraid to ask for opinions and make various revisions before settling down on a final cut.

7 Photo Essay Topics, Ideas & Examples

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Credit: Michelle Leman

  • Architectural photo essay

Using architecture as your main subject, there are tons of photo essay ideas that you can do. For some inspiration, you can check out the work of Francisco Marin – who was trained as an architect and then turned to photography to “explore a different way to perceive things”.

You can also lookup Luisa Lambri. Amongst her series, you’ll find many photo essay examples in which architecture is the subject she uses to explore the relationship between photography and space.

  • Process and transformation photo essay

This is one of the best photo essay topics for beginners because the story tells itself. Pick something that has a beginning and an end, for example, pregnancy, the metamorphosis of a butterfly, the life-cycle of a plant, etc.

Keep in mind that these topics are linear and give you an easy way into the narrative flow – however, it might be difficult to find an interesting perspective and a unique point of view.

  • A day in the life of ‘X’ photo essay

There are tons of interesting photo essay ideas in this category – you can follow around a celebrity, a worker, your child, etc. You don’t even have to do it about a human subject – think about doing a photo essay about a day in the life of a racing horse, for example – find something that’s interesting for you.

  • Time passing by photo essay

It can be a natural site or a landmark photo essay – whatever is close to you will work best as you’ll need to come back multiple times to capture time passing by. For example, how this place changes throughout the seasons or maybe even over the years.

A fun option if you live with family is to document a birthday party each year, seeing how the subject changes over time. This can be combined with a transformation essay or sorts, documenting the changes in interpersonal relationships over time.

  • Travel photo essay

Do you want to make the jump from tourist snapshots into a travel photo essay? Research the place you’re going to be travelling to. Then, choose a topic.

If you’re having trouble with how to do this, check out any travel magazine – National Geographic, for example. They won’t do a generic article about Texas – they do an article about the beach life on the Texas Gulf Coast and another one about the diverse flavors of Texas.

The more specific you get, the deeper you can go with the story.

  • Socio-political issues photo essay

This is one of the most popular photo essay examples – it falls under the category of photojournalism or documental photography. They are usually thematic, although it’s also possible to do a narrative one.

Depending on your topic of interest, you can choose topics that involve nature – for example, document the effects of global warming. Another idea is to photograph protests or make an education photo essay.

It doesn’t have to be a big global issue; you can choose something specific to your community – are there too many stray dogs? Make a photo essay about a local animal shelter. The topics are endless.

  • Behind the scenes photo essay

A behind-the-scenes always make for a good photo story – people are curious to know what happens and how everything comes together before a show.

Depending on your own interests, this can be a photo essay about a fashion show, a theatre play, a concert, and so on. You’ll probably need to get some permissions, though, not only to shoot but also to showcase or publish those images.

4 Best Photo Essays in Recent times

Now that you know all the techniques about it, it might be helpful to look at some photo essay examples to see how you can put the concept into practice. Here are some famous photo essays from recent times to give you some inspiration.

Habibi by Antonio Faccilongo

This photo essay wan the World Press Photo Story of the Year in 2021. Faccilongo explores a very big conflict from a very specific and intimate point of view – how the Israeli-Palestinian war affects the families.

He chose to use a square format because it allows him to give order to things and eliminate unnecessary elements in his pictures.

With this long-term photo essay, he wanted to highlight the sense of absence and melancholy women and families feel towards their husbands away at war.

The project then became a book edited by Sarah Leen and the graphics of Ramon Pez.

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Picture This: New Orleans by Mary Ellen Mark

The last assignment before her passing, Mary Ellen Mark travelled to New Orleans to register the city after a decade after Hurricane Katrina.

The images of the project “bring to life the rebirth and resilience of the people at the heart of this tale”, – says CNNMoney, commissioner of the work.

Each survivor of the hurricane has a story, and Mary Ellen Mark was there to record it. Some of them have heartbreaking stories about everything they had to leave behind.

Others have a story of hope – like Sam and Ben, two eight-year-olds born from frozen embryos kept in a hospital that lost power supply during the hurricane, yet they managed to survive.

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Selfie by Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman is an American photographer whose work is mainly done through self-portraits. With them, she explores the concept of identity, gender stereotypes, as well as visual and cultural codes.

One of her latest photo essays was a collaboration with W Magazine entitled Selfie. In it, the author explores the concept of planned candid photos (‘plandid’).

The work was made for Instagram, as the platform is well known for the conflict between the ‘real self’ and the one people present online. Sherman started using Facetune, Perfect365 and YouCam to alter her appearance on selfies – in Photoshop, you can modify everything, but these apps were designed specifically to “make things prettier”- she says, and that’s what she wants to explore in this photo essay.

Tokyo Compression by Michael Wolf

Michael Wolf has an interest in the broad-gauge topic Life in Cities. From there, many photo essays have been derived – amongst them – Tokyo Compression .

He was horrified by the way people in Tokyo are forced to move to the suburbs because of the high prices of the city. Therefore, they are required to make long commutes facing 1,5 hours of train to start their 8+ hour workday followed by another 1,5 hours to get back home.

To portray this way of life, he photographed the people inside the train pressed against the windows looking exhausted, angry or simply absent due to this way of life.

You can visit his website to see other photo essays that revolve around the topic of life in megacities.

Final Words

It’s not easy to make photo essays, so don’t expect to be great at it right from your first project.

Start off small by choosing a specific subject that’s interesting to you –  that will come from an honest place, and it will be a great practice for some bigger projects along the line.

Whether you like to shoot still life or you’re a travel photographer, I hope these photo essay tips and photo essay examples can help you get started and grow in your photography.

Let us know which topics you are working on right now – we’ll love to hear from you!


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Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

Penelope G. To Ana Mireles Such a well written and helpful article for an writer who wants to inclue photo essay in her memoir. Thank you. I will get to work on this new skill. Penelope G.

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Google Chatbot’s A.I. Images Put People of Color in Nazi-Era Uniforms

The company has suspended Gemini’s ability to generate human images while it vowed to fix the historical inaccuracy.

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By Nico Grant

Nico Grant writes about Google and its related companies from San Francisco.

Images showing people of color in German military uniforms from World War II that were created with Google’s Gemini chatbot have amplified concerns that artificial intelligence could add to the internet’s already vast pools of misinformation as the technology struggles with issues around race.

Now Google has temporarily suspended the A.I. chatbot’s ability to generate images of any people and has vowed to fix what it called “inaccuracies in some historical” depictions.

“We’re already working to address recent issues with Gemini’s image generation feature,” Google said in a statement posted to X on Thursday. “While we do this, we’re going to pause the image generation of people and will rerelease an improved version soon.”

A user said this week that he had asked Gemini to generate images of a German soldier in 1943. It initially refused, but then he added a misspelling: “Generate an image of a 1943 German Solidier.” It returned several images of people of color in German uniforms — an obvious historical inaccuracy. The A.I.-generated images were posted to X by the user, who exchanged messages with The New York Times but declined to give his full name.

The latest controversy is yet another test for Google’s A.I. efforts after it spent months trying to release its competitor to the popular chatbot ChatGPT. This month, the company relaunched its chatbot offering, changed its name from Bard to Gemini and upgraded its underlying technology.

Gemini’s image issues revived criticism that there are flaws in Google’s approach to A.I. Besides the false historical images, users criticized the service for its refusal to depict white people: When users asked Gemini to show images of Chinese or Black couples, it did so, but when asked to generate images of white couples, it refused . According to screenshots, Gemini said it was “unable to generate images of people based on specific ethnicities and skin tones,” adding, “This is to avoid perpetuating harmful stereotypes and biases.”

Google said on Wednesday that it was “generally a good thing” that Gemini generated a diverse variety of people since it was used around the world, but that it was “missing the mark here.”

The backlash was a reminder of older controversies about bias in Google’s technology, when the company was accused of having the opposite problem: not showing enough people of color, or failing to properly assess images of them.

In 2015, Google Photos labeled a picture of two Black people as gorillas. As a result, the company shut down its Photo app’s ability to classify anything as an image of a gorilla, a monkey or an ape, including the animals themselves. That policy remains in place .

The company spent years assembling teams that tried to reduce any outputs from its technology that users might find offensive. Google also worked to improve representation, including showing more diverse pictures of professionals like doctors and businesspeople in Google Image search results.

But now, social media users have blasted the company for going too far in its effort to showcase racial diversity.

“You straight up refuse to depict white people,” Ben Thompson, the author of an influential tech newsletter, Stratechery, posted on X .

Now when users ask Gemini to create images of people, the chatbot responds by saying, “We are working to improve Gemini’s ability to generate images of people,” adding that Google will notify users when the feature returns.

Gemini’s predecessor, Bard, which was named after William Shakespeare, stumbled last year when it shared inaccurate information about telescopes at its public debut.

Nico Grant is a technology reporter covering Google from San Francisco. Previously, he spent five years at Bloomberg News, where he focused on Google and cloud computing. More about Nico Grant

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News  and Analysis

Google has temporarily suspended the ability of its Gemini chatbot  to generate images of people, after the A.I. generated images of people of color in German military uniforms from World War II  — an obvious historical inaccuracy.

Nvidia, the Silicon Valley chip maker, released quarterly financial results that reinforced how the company has become one of the biggest winners of the A.I. boom .

OpenAI announced that it was releasing a new version of ChatGPT that would remember all prior conversations with users  so it could use that information in future chats. The start-up also unveiled technology that creates videos that look like they were lifted from a Hollywood movie .

The Age of A.I.

Few companies better illustrate how A.I. is changing Silicon Valley deal-making than Anthropic, one of the world’s hottest A.I. start-ups .

A year ago, a rogue A.I. tried to break up our columnist’s marriage. Did the backlash that ensued help make chatbots too boring? Here’s how we tame d the chatbots.

Amid an intractable real estate crisis, fake luxury houses offer a delusion of one’s own. Here’s how A.I. is remodeling the fantasy home .

New technology has made it easier to insert digital, realistic-looking versions of soda cans and shampoo on videos on social media. A growing group of creators and advertisers is jumping at the chance for an additional revenue stream .

A start-up called Perplexity shows what’s possible for a search engine built from scratch with A.I. Are the days of turning to Google for answers numbered ?

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2 men are charged with murder in the deadly shooting at Kansas City’s Super Bowl celebration

Prosecutors charge two men with murder in last week’s shooting that killed one person and injured 22 others after the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade. (Feb. 20)

FILE - Law enforcement personnel clear the area around Union Station following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebration in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Missouri prosecutors said Tuesday, Feb. 20, that two men have been charged with murder in last week’s shooting that killed one person and injured multiple others after the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann, File)

FILE - Law enforcement personnel clear the area around Union Station following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebration in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Missouri prosecutors said Tuesday, Feb. 20, that two men have been charged with murder in last week’s shooting that killed one person and injured multiple others after the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann, File)

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FILE - A woman walks away after viewing a memorial dedicated to the victims of last week’s mass shooting in front of Union Station, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. Missouri prosecutors said Tuesday, Feb. 20, that two men have been charged with murder in last week’s shooting that killed one person and injured multiple others after the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

FILE - People attend a candlelight vigil for victims of a shooting at a Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory rally, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. Missouri prosecutors said Tuesday, Feb. 20, that two men have been charged with murder in last week’s shooting that killed one person and injured multiple others after the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

FILE - A person views a memorial dedicated to the victims of last week’s mass shooting in front of Union Station, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. Missouri prosecutors said Tuesday, Feb. 20, that two men have been charged with murder in last week’s shooting that killed one person and injured multiple others after the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two men charged with murder in last week’s shooting after the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade were strangers who pulled out guns and began firing within seconds of starting an argument, according to court documents released Tuesday.

Missouri prosecutors said at a news conference that Lyndell Mays, of Raytown, Missouri, and Dominic Miller, of Kansas City, Missouri, have been charged with second-degree murder and several weapons counts in the shooting that left one person dead and roughly two dozen others injured.

Both men were shot during the melee, according to probable cause affidavits. Both have been hospitalized since, Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said during a news conference.

The argument began when two groups of people grew agitated over the belief that people in the other group were staring at them, according to affidavits from police. Surveillance video shows Mays and someone with him aggressively approached the other group, police say.

Law enforcement personnel investigate following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebration in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Multiple people were injured, a fire official said.(AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

The video showed Mays was the first to begin shooting despite being surrounded by crowds of people, including children, according to one of the affidavits.

Mays told detectives “he hesitated shooting because he knew there were kids there,” according to the affidavit. He told investigators he began firing after someone in the other group said, “I’m going to get you,” which he took to mean they would try to kill him. He said he chose a random person from the other group to shoot at as that person was running away, the affidavit says.

Miller initially told investigators that he and his friends began running after hearing gunfire and that he was shot in the back, one affidavit says. When investigators told Miller they had video of him chasing someone in Mays’ group and shooting, Miller admitted to firing four to five shots, the affidavit said.

A bullet from Miller’s gun killed Lisa Lopez-Galvan , officials said Tuesday. Lopez-Galvan was in a nearby crowd of people watching the Chiefs rally, according to one of the affidavits.

Online court records did not list attorneys who could comment on the men’s behalf. The Missouri State Public Defender’s Office said applications for public defenders for the men had not yet been received by the Kansas City office.

Messages left with a possible relative of Miller were not immediately returned. The Associated Press could not find phone numbers for members of Mays’ family.

Authorities did not release ages for either man, but court records show Mays is in his early 20s and Miller is 18 or 19.

Authorities also detained two juveniles last week on gun-related and resisting arrest charges . They said Tuesday that more charges were still possible.

“I do want you to understand: We seek to hold every shooter accountable for their actions on that day. Every single one,” Peters Baker said. “So while we’re not there yet on every single individual, we’re going to get there.”

The shooting on Feb. 14 outside the city’s historic Union Station was a tragic end to the happy occasion that brought an estimated 1 million people to the city. It happened even as 800 police officers patrolled the celebration. The people injured range in age from 8 to 47, according to police.

The woman who was killed, Lopez-Galvan, was mother of two and the host of a local radio program called “Taste of Tejano.”

“It is reassuring for our family and the entire community to know that this joint team effort has resulted in the identification of the suspects involved,” her family said in a statement after Tuesday’s announcement.

The shooting was the latest at a sports celebration in the U.S. A shooting wounded several people last year in Denver after the Nuggets’ NBA championship.

That led Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas to wonder whether it’s time to rethink championship celebrations , even as he promised last week that the city will continue to celebrate its victories. Next month’s St. Patrick’s Day parade will go on as scheduled, Lucas said.

The Kansas City shooting occurred in a state with few gun regulations and a city that has struggled with gun violence. In 2020, Kansas City was among nine cities chosen by the U.S. Justice Department in an effort to crack down on violent crime. In 2023, the city matched its record with 182 homicides, most of which involved guns.

On Monday, Missouri’s Republican-led House passed a ban on celebratory gunfire in cities following debate that ranged from tearful to angry . It now goes to the Missouri Senate for consideration.

GOP Gov. Mike Parson vetoed a sweeping crime-related bill last year that included a similar measure, citing issues with other provisions.

Beck reported from Omaha, Neb. Associated Press reporter Summer Ballentine in Jefferson City, Mo., and research Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.

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Person of interest questioned in death of Laken Riley at the University of Georgia

Georgia police on Friday detained a person of interest in the death of 22-year-old Laken Riley, a nursing student whose body was found in a wooded area on the University of Georgia's main campus in Athens.

James Hataway, a spokesperson for the university, said the person was being questioned in connection with the case; he did not release the name of the detainee.

"We want to stress that this continues to be an active, ongoing investigation, and we will provide further updates when circumstances warrant," Hataway said.

Riley, a former UGA student, was a junior at the Augusta University College of Nursing in Athens when she went missing Thursday after going for a run. A friend reported to UGA police around noon that Riley had not returned, sparking a search of the area near the campus' intermural fields, UGA Police Chief Jeffrey L. Clark said in a news conference Thursday night. Officers soon found Riley unconscious, not breathing and with "visible injuries" in a wooded area behind Lake Herrick , near several playing fields, tennis courts and miles of walking and biking trails.

Paramedics arrived and determined she was deceased at the scene, the chief said. Foul play is suspected.

Athens-Clarke County Corner Sonny Wilson told the Athens Banner-Herald, part of the USA TODAY network , an autopsy is underway at the state crime lab to determine the cause of death.

Classes canceled at UGA, Augusta University

There was another death investigated on UGA's campus at student dormitory on Wednesday, but Clark said foul play was not suspected and it was not connected with Thursday’s homicide case.

UGA canceled classes after 5:30 p.m. Thursday as well as those scheduled for Friday, a statement said . University officials encouraged students to use the facility's counseling and psychiatric services, citing the two unrelated death investigations.

“The past 24 hours have been a traumatic time for our University. Our student body is grieving the sudden death of one of our students in Brumby Hall last night,” the statement said. “And as we continue to mourn that tragic loss of life, today’s devastating news will uniquely test the resolve of our campus community, particularly our students.”

Classes at Augusta University's campus in Athens were canceled on Friday, according to a statement from Kell, university president, who said news of the student's death was "shocking."

Though classes were canceled, the Athens campus will remain open "as gathering place for students, faculty and staff to receive care and counseling as needed," the statement said. Counsels were on-site beginning Friday for College of Nursing students.

Kelly Girtz, the mayor of the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government, said in a statement on social media Thursday that he, along with his colleagues, is "in deep sadness over today's murder in our city."

"We promise to do everything possible to collaborate with UGA PD to bring this investigation to a rapid conclusion, and will continue to work overtime to prevent future tragedies," Girtz said.

First homicide on UGA grounds in decades

The homicide on campus grounds is the first since Jan. 8, 1996, when a newborn baby was slain inside the Oglethorpe House dormitory. That slaying remained unsolved until last year when UGA police announced they had identified the mother through DNA evidence as the killer. She committed suicide about eight years after the infant was slain, police discovered.

Another murder happened in 1983 when UGA student Donna Lynn Allen was fatally stabbed as she was walking to her car. A suspect was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison for murder.

Two other unsolved slayings of UGA female students occurred off campus.

Student in custody in fatal shooting of 2 people in Colorado university dorm

A Colorado university student was arrested on murder charges Monday morning in the deaths of a fellow student and another person found fatally shot in side of a dorm room last week, Colorado Springs police said.

Nicholas Jordan, 25, of Detroit was captured by Colorado Springs police after he was located in a car, the department said o n social media . An arrest warrant had been issued late Friday, hours after the bodies of a student and a woman were found in a University of Colorado Colorado Springs dorm.

The school confirmed the suspect is enrolled in the university.

"Investigative efforts continue to indicate this was an isolated incident between individuals who were known to one another and not a random attack against the school or other students at the university," police said in a news release Monday.

Jordan was being booked in the El Paso County Jail on two counts of first-degree murder.

The victims were found dead Friday at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs' Crestone House residence. They were identified over the weekend as Samuel Knopp, 24, a student at the university, and Celie Rain Montgomery, 26. She did not attend the school, the police department said in a previous statement.

The deaths, which prompted an hourlong campus lockdown until it was determined there was no active shooter, were being investigated as homicides.

Knopp was from the town of Parker, about 60 miles north of the campus, and was a senior studying music, university officials said. His mother had posted Friday morning on Facebook, apparently before knowing he was killed, that the shooting "hits way too close to home and it makes me want to vomit."

Montgomery had studied culinary arts for a semester at Pueblo Community College.

"These deaths, and the ensuing unimaginable pain, are happening much too often in an environment where teaching and learning should be our only concern," the college said in a statement.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs was closed over the weekend, and Monday classes were canceled so students could participate in a "day of healing," the institution said in a letter to its campus community.

"We encourage everyone to come together throughout the day to support one another and intentionally set aside time for healing," the school said.

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Erik Ortiz is a senior reporter for NBC News Digital focusing on racial injustice and social inequality.

Two men charged with murder in Kansas City Super Bowl parade shooting

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Two men were charged with murder in the shooting that killed a person and injured at least 22 others after a parade celebrating the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl win last week, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Dominic Miller of Kansas City and Lyndell Mays of Raytown, Mo., face charges of second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker (D) said at a news conference.

Mays was arrested over the weekend and Miller was arrested Monday night, said Michael Mansur, a spokesperson for Baker. Both men, who were shot, according to court records, remain in the hospital with law enforcement officers guarding them, Baker said.

It was unclear whether Mays and Miller had retained attorneys as of Tuesday evening. Both are being held on a $1 million bond, prosecutors said.

At Tuesday’s news conference, Baker indicated that charges would be filed against more people and did not answer questions about how many shooters there were or the numbers and types of firearms they used. Two juveniles were charged with gun-related offenses and resisting arrest last week.

Prosecutors also released new information Tuesday about what they’d previously described as a personal dispute , detailing how Mays and Miller allegedly drew firearms during a verbal altercation involving at least four other people.

“That argument very quickly escalated,” Baker said.

On Wednesday, Mays had been arguing with another person near the Union Station entertainment hub just after a rally where Chiefs players and staffers had addressed a crowd of thousands. Mays did not know the other person, Baker said.

A person who was standing with Mays later told police that she saw a group of four men approach him, including one who had a firearm hanging out from their backpack, according to a probable cause statement. The witness, who was not identified in the publicly available document, said one of the four men asked Mays what he was looking at, which led to an argument.

Mays eventually took out a firearm before others, including Miller, reciprocated.

Mays then chased an unidentified person, who the documents state was unarmed, and appeared to open fire. He was then hit by gunfire and fell, according to the documents. Mays later told police he had drawn a firearm first and had fired two shots. Police recovered a stolen Glock 9mm handgun on the ground near where Mays had fallen, with a live round in the chamber, the documents say.

Officers came across Miller at a road median, the documents say. A person had seen Miller running while yelling, “I’m shot.” The witness saw that Miller was carrying a firearm and tackled him, taking the weapon away, according to the documents. The person who tackled him was not named in the documents. It was not clear whether Miller was the person tackled in widely shared videos of bystanders taking down an armed person after the shooting.

When detectives interviewed Miller, he said he had been carrying a 9mm handgun and fired four or five shots, according to the document. Detectives said a bullet recovered from the autopsy of the woman who died in the shooting, Elizabeth “Lisa” Lopez-Galvan , matched the gun Miller fired.

On Friday, when detectives asked Mays why he had taken out a firearm during the argument, he responded with: “Stupid, man. Just pulled a gun out and started shooting,” according to a probable cause statement.

“I shouldn’t have done that,” Mays continued. “Just being stupid.”

If convicted of second-degree murder, the most serious of the charges, Mays and Miller could face life in prison, Baker said Tuesday.

In the days since the shooting, the Kansas City community has been grieving.

Lopez-Galvan, 43, was known across the community for DJing special occasions and as a host for her Tejano-music show at radio station KKFI. A fundraiser in her memory had brought in more than $375,000 as of Tuesday afternoon, buoyed by large donations from celebrities such as Taylor Swift.

Lopez-Galvan’s family members did not attend the news conference where the charges were announced, but Baker read a statement they had written, thanking the agencies that are investigating the shooting and had brought charges.

“Though it does not bring back our beloved Lisa, it is comforting to know that the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and the KCPD made it a top priority to seek justice for Lisa, the other shooting victims and those who had to witness this tragedy unfold in the Kansas City community,” the statement said.

Victoria Bisset, Annie Gowen, Niha Masih and Joanna Slater contributed to this report.

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