Can words work as well as images?

advice | branding | copywriting
page of words and drawings

Words were always my first love. I was a writer long before I became a photographer. But, for a time, the words left me and so I picked up a camera and honed my skills as a photographer in the meantime. I quickly learned the power of an image, particularly their strength over words. But, you know what? Now I have found the words again, now I am a writer as well as a photographer, I hold the belief that words can be just as powerful as photographs. Words CAN work as well as images and here’s how.

Pictures speak loudly

That’s always been the general consensus. You’ve heard the saying: a picture speaks a thousand words, right? Images can say, in milliseconds, what words can take much longer to get across. This is due to the very nature of reading and digesting the language versus viewing and taking in an image.

Images also have the benefit of bold colours and shapes. They can convey emotion in an instant, as well as elicit it (come on, puppy dog eyes always get me going!). Images are capable of telling a story in one frame. That works well for people who are on the go and don’t have time to sit and read a block of text.

page of words and drawings

Words speak longer and even louder

That all being said… there is only so much of a message you can convey in a single image. It becomes words that whittle down the details. You might be able to convey your upcoming workshop in an image, but it’ll be the words that tell people where they should be and when. There are some details that can’t be shared in shapes and forms and colours.

Images work like a snapshot, but words and copy (good copy!) bring a whole new layer and dimension to the information you want to convey. Without words, people lose interest when they can’t keep guessing what’s going on. It’s the words that give all the juicy bits of information that people crave.

Pictures and words

Truthfully, the two work hand in hand, particularly when dealing with business and branding. Images without the words are decoration. Words without images are bland and don’t draw attention.

So, then, images and words should work together. They should create a nice little harmony to draw attention. Give a quick overview in an image and then fill in the blanks with well-written copy. That’s the perfect combination!

What’s important to remember here, is that the two halves should compliment each other. The image should relate to the words and vice versa. Which means if you’re better with words and need to utilise stock images, choose your images carefully. And if photography is your strong point, either take some care with the words you use or get someone (like me!) to write them for you.

The combination of great images and clever copy is a powerful one. It’s what keeps people interested in what you have to say and show, and it keeps them coming back over and over again.

So, try to remember that next time you re-jig a web page, write a blog or share a post on social media, ok?