Images say a lot. It is quite difficult to talk about the power of images without starting with this: A picture says a thousand and one words. This basically, just says all there is to be said. When you see a picture, a thousand different thoughts pop into your head, one after another. It is always so easy to write an essay when presented with an image. 

Images are moments frozen in time, and in the mind. Moments set, irrevocably in amber; the good and bad ones alike. The fun and awkward times, the triumphs and defeats, the love and loss; moments of beauty and otherwise, captured for your’s and posterity’s sake. Photographs were the first method of freezing time, and they definitely won’t be the last! 

Personally, when I look at an image,  I try to connect with the scene, object, or person in it. images implement imagination in the viewer, as well as the photographer. A photographer, most times, has a unique style to their photos. Usually, this style relates to their life, personality, or tastes in some way. These are just a few ways that images tell stories. 

Science has a few things to say about the power of images on the mind. The ‘picture superiority effect’ explains that concepts are more memorable if they are shown as images rather than as words. There are two possible ‘encoding’ theories that explain this effect:

  • Paivio’s ‘dual coding’ theory states that picture stimuli have an advantage over word stimuli because images generate a verbal code, as well as an image code in the brain, while word stimuli only generate a verbal code. 
  • Nelson’s sensory semantic’:The theory explains that pictures are more perceptually distinctive from each other than words, thus making them easier to remember. 

Other possible explanations are still being debated, but there seems to be a general agreement among scientists that the effect of images is a genuine one.

It is a bit challenging to read and listen at the same time because they use competing sensory channels. The same does not apply to listen while looking at a relevant image. The brain is said to process images 60,000 times faster than it processes words. It is much easier – and far less frustrating – for your audience to listen to what you have to say while looking at one or more images, instead of a screen full of words. 

“The eyes are windows of the soul” is a popular saying that can be applied to headshots and other images in general. An image can convey an idea, a personality, or an emotion, which will stick to you much longer than words on a page. With this kind of potential impact, it is no wonder why the marketing community has been pushing clients to adopt a ‘Visual Content Strategy’. It delivers tremendous results.

Images should not be treated as an afterthought. What image is displayed on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter when someone shares a link to your content will to a great extent determine who likes, shares, or clicks on the link. Your images directly affect your web traffic. Just adding a little text or caption to the image promotes it even more(you can read more here).

Now, think of a professional headshot paired with excellent content on your various pages. It is guaranteed to garner more views, engagement, attention, and in general, a top-performing page. Your picture needs to work as hard as your words do.

I could go on and on about all the ways images speak louder than words, but I will leave you to think about these for a while. Incorporating images into the very essence of your brand is very important. If you haven’t done so already, do that as soon as you can. 

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