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How Women’s March Chicago Went Viral and Made History

How Women’s March Chicago Went Viral and Made History

As 300,000 people packed into eight city blocks for the 2018 Women’s March on Chicago, Sarah Matheson and her team of more than 50 visual storytellers captured the moment from every angle.

Not only did this team want to be first on social media, but they wanted to create images that would have an impact – both in real time and for years to come.

“Photos are a mark in time,” says Sarah. “And if we take a moment to actually look into the image, there’s an enormous amount we can learn about ourselves, but also about our society and what needs to change and what needs to move forward.”

As the visual storytelling lead for Women’s March Chicago, Sarah not only led her team to social media success, but also captured and preserved an important moment in history.

Watch the video to walk alongside Sarah and her team of visual storytellers…


Behind the Scenes with the Storytellers

On march day, the Women’s March Chicago visual storytelling team shared 1,500 images on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in just five hours.

Thanks to their lightning-fast creative workflow, Women’s March Chicago was able to control the story on social media and become the top-trending march in the nation.

But the real impact of these images is yet to come. Now, Sarah and her team are sifting through more than 30,000 images, marking the best shots and tagging images so they are easy to find in the future.

“We can’t go back and recreate a march like this,” says Sarah. “I keep saying that the political temperature and the cultural temperature that we are at right now – we need to capture that for where we are in 2018, and we need to illustrate that all of this type of work – does it move the indicators? Does it get more people to the polls? Does it get more women engaged?”

As the team makes these images easily accessible in Libris, Women’s March Chicago can continue to use them to tell moving, inspiring stories. For example, to celebrate International Women’s Day, Women’s March Chicago is working with respected photo historian and professor David Travis to identify and showcase the most compelling images from the march.

“One of the most important parts of being organized is the ability to optimize the visual asset,” says Sarah. “A photo can be absolutely fantastic but not if it’s sitting on a hard drive in the corner.”

Go Behind the Scenes in Our On-Demand Webinar

So how did they do it? Watch our on-demand webinar, 300,000 Voices: Visual Storytelling at the Women’s March Chicago, to go behind the scenes with Sarah and the Women’s March Chicago team.

In this webinar, you’ll get:

  • A breakdown of everything you need to do before an event to maximize impact on event day
  • An insider’s look at how Sarah’s team shared photos in real time on social media
  • The best tricks, tools and tips for engaging your audience before, during, and after your event

Cover photo by Sarah Matheson, Women’s March Chicago.

Next Up: The Nitty Gritty: A Detailed Look at Women’s March Chicago’s Visual Storytelling Workflow

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  • Reply
    March 16, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    I would love to have access to even more details about how they handled this. Maybe she is not willing to share, but honestly details like having everyone re-set the file naming on their cameras so they could ID who the photographer was are what I’m looking for. I’m never going to have an operation as big as what she led (well, never say never…) but those kind of practical details about how to make it work are useful for our smaller event workflows.

    Thanks for this webinar. It was great.

    • Reply
      Kristin Twiford
      March 16, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Mike!

      Thank you for watching and for this insight! We have more details about Sarah’s workflow that we will share here on the Libris blog (with tips like, pack hand-warmers to strap onto your camera battery, and make sure you have enough digital techs to edit photos). Feel free to sign up for our newsletter so you’re in the loop when we publish these posts or check back in again soon. In the meantime, be sure to check out all three of the on-demand webinars in this “Capturing the Moment” series:

      Thanks again for watching and for your feedback!

  • Reply
    The Nitty Gritty: A Detailed Look at the PBR’s Photo Workflow – Libris Visual Storytelling Blog
    March 27, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    […] Next Up: How Women’s March Chicago Went Viral and Made History […]

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