It’s often the pictures with words that capture your attention and stay in your memory long after you’ve seen them. It’s the way a picture can connect with our deepest emotions, convey complex thoughts and ideas, and make us laugh, cry, or simply smile that makes it such an incredible communicator. And that’s why so many brands use them to get their message across to customers—a picture can be worth far more than 1,000 words!
Picture to Words
Transforming a photo into a meaningful message is an extremely effective way of engaging an audience and making sure your message sticks. A picture really is worth a thousand words, but only if you can make it mean something. You might think that writing a story around an image that tells its own story wouldn’t be as creative as using just plain text—but with some careful planning, you can create impactful messages with images alone.
What is a meme?
This meme is a picture with words that transform pictures into meaningful messages. But what makes a good meme? The best memes are only one step removed from our everyday conversations. I’ve learned over time that it’s these types of memes that tend to stick in people’s minds—memes where you can’t help but respond with Yeah, totally! or Wait, what?
The more personal and authentic your message is, the more likely others will share your meme. For example, if you’re trying to sell something, make sure your product plays a role in your meme. If you’re trying to promote an event, show images of attendees having fun at last year’s event. And if you’re just trying to get someone’s attention, be funny or outrageous.
What makes a good photo essay?
Good photo essays provide context, meaning and direction. They don’t just tell us what happened, they give us a reason why it matters. A picture is worth a thousand words, but when those pictures are strung together as part of an essay (which contains some words), they can be worth far more than that.
A good photo essay can completely transform a single event or message from nothing more than a subject or caption into an everlasting memory that sticks with people long after seeing it in print or online. It’s not hard to create a memorable photo essay; all you need is a strong concept, compelling images and thoughtful writing.
Tips for creating your own photo essay
It may be hard to translate a picture to words, but there are ways of doing it. It may not be possible with every single picture or message you want to convey, but if you’re looking for ways of describing what you see in a photo, try these five tips:
1.- Tell a story
Instead of just saying that you like something, tell your audience why you like it and how they can use that information themselves.
2.- Avoid generalizations
Don’t say The beach is beautiful, because everyone knows that already; instead describe what makes it beautiful (i.eThe colors of sunset reflected on the water make me feel calm and relaxed after a long day at work).
3.- Describe specific details
Your readers will remember specific details better than generalities. For example, rather than saying You should eat more vegetables, say Broccoli has lots of fiber and Vitamin C so it will help you stay healthy.
4.- Use powerful verbs
Use action verbs to give life to your descriptions. For example, rather than saying I really love my new shoes, say I strutted around town in my new shoes all weekend
5.- Keep it short
People have shorter attention spans online than they do offline, so keep your descriptions short and sweet. A good rule of thumb is to limit yourself to one sentence per image when trying to describe what you see in a photo.
For me, picture-to-word skills are one of those elusive but essential marketing talents. I don’t have it—but that doesn’t mean I can’t recognize and hire people who do! The same goes for you: If picture-to-words is a key skill, make sure you ask how your writer approaches it (and ask them to show you an example).The difference between an average sentence with relevant images and a great one that changes minds can be determined by such subtle things as font size, color, and placement.
A skilled picture with words artist will know all these tricks of the trade and more. That’s why I hired my new assistant on her ability to make words dance—because if she can do that, she can get anyone excited about anything. She’s even convinced me to buy new underwear just because she could say something about boxers or briefs in a way I hadn’t thought of before. It was worth every penny (I didn’t buy any underwear though)!
Every blogger should write their own post at least once per month on their site. It gives readers an insight into your personality and passion which allows them to connect with you on a deeper level. Additionally, writing helps keep ideas fresh in your mind so when they come up again in future posts they feel like less work and more natural flowing thoughts than if you had not previously written about it already.