A picture is worth a thousand words

The cliché comes from an old Chinese proverb “A Picture’s Meaning Can Express Ten Thousand Words.” However, the modern use of the phrase stems from an article by Fred R. Barnard in the Dec. 8, 1921 issue of Printers’ Ink, promoting the use of images in advertisements that appeared on the sides of streetcars.

Nearly 88 years later, the use of this cliché is more relevant than ever. We live in a visual world and photographs have immense power. Simply put, photographs tell a story. Think of some of the great images in our country’s history – the raising of the American Flag at Mt. Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, the photo of 3-year-old John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father on the way to his burial, Barack Obama being sworn in as the first African American president – all tell a story without the single use of a word.

Let the power of photos help tell the story of your business. Whether it is booking a hotel room on the Internet, researching a new car or looking through the pages of a fashion magazine, pictures evoke emotion and inspire consumers. Consumers buy on emotion, not rationalization, and pictures are the driving force behind that emotion.

Unfortunately, I see too many clients who under value photos as part of their overall marketing plan. As a business owner or head of a marketing department, you need to acknowledge the importance of photography in all of your marketing collateral. From staff headshots to Web site images, all photographs should be clean, concise and creative.

What’s the first step in getting quality photographs? It’s easy, hire a professional. Imagine Marketing works with some of the brightest photographers in the valley, and we can help you create a portfolio of shots that will tell a story and present your company as a leader in its field.

The initial costs are probably less than you think and the results will create a picture for you, a picture of profit.

Jeff Jensen is the Chief Operations Officer for Imagine Marketing.
Contact Jeff at

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