Helping Patients Connect Through Visual Storytelling in Healthcare Design

By Kurt Johnson Photography • July 25, 2022

Connection is at the heart of everything we do as humans, so it makes sense that enhancing those connections would be at the forefront when considering the importance of healthcare design.

Being able to feel a connection in a healthcare or wellness environment is crucial if you want patients to feel at ease, cared for, and safe, all things which have been shown to lead to positive outcomes and reinforced feelings of receiving high-quality care.

So, how can you help patients feel welcome, calm, and uplifted from the moment they walk through your door?  And how can you create rejuvenating environments that support and inspire staff?

Through visual storytelling.

I’ve been putting my nature images into healthcare environments for nearly 20 years, and what I see time and time again in facility after facility is that people connect to stories.

That’s why I’m on the road so much, traveling throughout the US taking photographs that capture the spirit of communities – because of the positive impact those images have within those communities.

On my most recent trip, I traveled through North Carolina – a gorgeous state known for its towering pines, soothing waterscapes, and the iconic Blue Ridge Mountains.  I focused on photographing the healing nature images of North Carolina’s expansive landscape, and I was NOT disappointed!

I always aim to capture the big and the little things, from sweeping landscapes to detailed textures and flowers. Those are the things that make up the heart of a place.  Those are things people connect to.  

When people see things they recognize in a photograph, they’re able to immediately engage with the art itself and with those around them.

You often hear things like, “I remember walking along that bridge as a kid,” or “I love the view from the top of that hill, the flowers in springtime make me feel happy.”

Visual storytelling is a powerful way of creating visual distractions for patients going through difficult times.

And there’s nothing more meaningful than making patients feel like they’re experiencing a little piece of home.  

My latest collection of nature photographs tells the story of North Carolina.

To see more visual storytelling, click here to see some of my most popular healing images of Nebraska.


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