neil shea



Since 2014 Neil has been using Instagram as a space for innovative storytelling. By stripping down journalism techniques, focusing on the tension between image and text, and collaborating with talented partners, he's found this social platform can deliver an intimate experience of character, place, and ideas.

It's his favorite place to tell true stories.

photo by Randy Olson

photo by Randy Olson

photo by Lindsey Addario

photo by Lindsey Addario

photo by Neil Shea

photo by Neil Shea


Instagram storytelling is part journalism, part design challenge, part quantum exercise. Word/picture stories can also be gathered into news coverage or larger documentary projects. Neil has given a TED talk on how experimenting with this form has changed the way he sees and writes. He's also published some thoughts on how using short-form techniques can complement other types of storytelling. Below, an article, some works-in-progress, and two interviews with Neil about this work.


A Bizarre Bazaar

- in The American Scholar


I've also been asked to speak and give workshops about storytelling concepts and methods, and I've collaborated with some excellent clients and talented photographers to explore what's possible with short narrative. Some of these are listed below; more info can be found in the section on Teaching + Speaking.


Workshops / Talks

TEDx @Emory University
Instagram Corporate HQ
Harvard University: Nieman Foundation
Chandelier Creative Agency
Seoul Digital Forum
Power of Narrative Conference


Cathay Pacific Airlines
Passion Passport
The Atlantic Re:Think Agency


Randy Olson
Stephen Alvarez
Lindsey Addario
Yuri Kozyrev
National Geographic
The Virginia Quarterly Review


And finally there's his feed, where all of this stuff comes together—voices, questions, journeys.