A picture says more than a thousand words. Nothing is truer. Do you know how your granddaughter looks like when her mother tells you or do you rather want a photo of her? But what more is in the picture than her curly hair and her pretty face?
When you look at photographs, you can feel immediately the moment that was captured. Have a look at holiday photos, you on the game vehicle during a photographic safari or you swimming in the ocean or you and your family in the garden at home. You are back in that moment and you can tell immediately everything what happened at that moment, because photography captures a moment in all its dimensions.
This is great to experience holidays again and other memorable moments in life, but it is also very useful for everyday communication and even business communication and success. An image carries all sorts of information and one can utilize that for “noiseless” communication. Nothing is added or removed, the moment is captured or the information one wants to provide or the idea one wants to share. The image carries it, accessible to anyone at any time.
And the image tells even more than the eye first sees. Also the emotional dimension and intuitional dimension are captured and carried by the image. For what would one need that when showing a photo of a granddaughter? Grandmother would feel immediately if the child was happy or not, although it might show a smile, she would feel. And what works with the granddaughter works for all communication through images, for a decision to buy a house or to manufacture new shoes or to acquire a company. All information for decisions is in the image, one needs only to read it.
And here comes the most interesting part. We always read all dimensions of an image, like the grandmother the mood of her granddaughter, but we do that mostly unconsciously. In order to use photography for communication, we only need to do it consciously and we have an everyday practical and easy tool of visual communication.
Thought leaders are the men and women who guide whole nations and economies into the future, only think of Steve Jobs and his visionary spirit. There is a common sense that visual content, visualizations and pretty much everything will have a virtual existence in the future and that can only mean that photography will play a major role also for thought leaders. How are they communicating in a visual age? Most likely through images and even being not a thought leader one takes rather a photo of a house than trying to explain the husband which house could be a possible home and why. Thought leaders will communicate with their teams through images, team buildings will use photography to align the team members and successful leadership will be measured on how good a leader can communicate with visual content and visualize goals. Well, none of the leaders needs to be a photographer to be able to communicate through photography, a cell phone is enough, yet there might come a big increase of hobby photographers out of it as well. And that would be great. Photography is just magic.
“Ten percent of all of the photographs made in the entire history of photography were made last year — an astounding figure. More than ever before, thanks in part to cell phone technology, the world is engaged with photography and communicating through pictures.
Nonetheless, a great photograph will rise above all the others.” This quote comes from TIME Picks the Top 10 Photos of 2012.
But what is a great photo? Somehow the first image they choose with the man from Ghaza reminds me very much of the winning photo of Word Press Photo 2012. Are they playing safe by choosing what won an award elsewhere or do they really find it one of the greatest photos of 2012?
The problem is, that all rankings and awards are subject to the subjective judgment of the jury. They have an idea what they want an image to look like and the one that gets the closest to the idea is the winner. But what a jury likes is not necessary what you like and find a great image.
A great image is an image that appeals to you, an image you love and can’t stop looking at. A great image draws you into it and makes you discover new things all the time. It lets you experience the feeling it captured and takes you on a journey.
Billions of photos will be taken on Christmas around the world, billions of videos will be shot and Youtubed on Christmas and billions of people will look at them and watch the videos. It will be mostly the same objects like Christmas trees, families at their Christmas feasts, families unpacking presents, Christmas decorations, children playing and people partying.
There are only few images taken at such an event that are interesting for a broader group of people (also those who don’t know the people in it) and these images are the ones that enable the viewer to become part of the family he/she is actually not part of in real life, but learns about them in an intimate way through the photographs.
How can those images be taken? First of all just shoot away without thinking too much. Then add to your focus of seeing (not on your camera) “motion” and from there go to photographing “emotion”. Your photographs will gain depth, what makes one keep looking at them and constantly finding new things in them.
This can be applied to any photography, yet Christmas is a good point to start.
In earlier blog posts was explained how an image captures a moment with all what’s in the moment. It allows us at any given time even years later to recap what we saw, felt, smelled and thought. We can immediately tell where the photo was taken, who the people in the photo are, how we felt when we took the photo and a lot more what happened at that time. How would it be to intensify this memory by enhancing the aspects of the image with real smells and touches? Print the photo from the holiday in the Provence, put some lavender in the room, play music from the region, make yourself comfortable on the sofa and have a glass of rosé while feeling that holiday again, 10 years later at any given place.
Sense photography with all your senses and enjoy travelling back in time to the moments you enjoyed.
Not that long ago we usually came back from a holiday with a couple of film rolls, carrying them to the photo shop and wondering what would be on them. It was an exciting moment when we went back to collect our printed photos, leafing through them quickly; looking for that one image we definitely wanted to be a good one and being surprised what we all had photographed, because there was some time between taking the photo and holding the print in your hand. That has all changed. Nowadays we take a digital photo and look immediately on the screen of our camera how it looks like and quickly erase it when we think it’s not good enough to be seen by anyone else. Then we get home (or to the hotel), upload the images to the computer and some of them make it to be printed or even become part of a photo book, but most of them remain digital files. Will some day the printing disappear completely? I don’t think so. Even Instagram images can be printed as stickers, small art prints and little books. The service is called Prinstagram and booming. It is just such a completely different feeling holding the print in your hand, putting the sticker with your own artwork on the fridge, giving a birthday card with an image you took to a friend than grabbing the smart phone and looking at the digital file. With a digital file only our eyes are feeling, with a print also our hands feel and the image becomes a multi dimensional sensual experience.