Create a Picture with Words and Improve your Marketing
A Photograph is Worth a Thousand Words
A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s how the saying goes. According to Wikipedia it means that an image can convey complex and sometimes multiple ideas to the viewer, conveying its meaning or essence, more effectively than a mere verbal description with words can do. But is this really the case?
Engage the Viewer and Create a Connection
As professional photographers living in the digital Internet era we all want to sell our images online, and whether we like it or not, this requires at least the minimum effort of putting our photographs online and make them available to a worldwide audience. And that’s where many photographers stop in the hope that the images speak for themselves and sell themselves to any potential buyers. After all, a picture speaks a thousand words and tells a story all on its own, right?
Yes, but to some people photos without words may be meaningless. Also, there are pictures with a stronger visual message while others may have included a more subtle message. In addition, there is always more to tell about a photograph then the photograph itself can do. This extra dimension of storytelling is essential to incorporate for your buyers as it will connect them on a deeper level with the story of the image. Therefore, for people to fully understand the story behind a photo adding the words that tell the story of an image is critical for your clients to actually connect with a picture and to feel the same way you did when you created the photograph.
These added words, and the emotions they create, fuel the inspiration of the viewer and will make him/her feel closer and more connected with the image. Adding a crucial story by writing down essential words gives you as a photographer the extra tools needed for your audience to engage with your image. And to evoke an emotional response from your readers by using words that convey specific feelings you don’t have to be Shakespeare. However, infusing your story with the right amount of emotionally charged words can really make a photograph, just like a good composition, dramatic lighting or a beautiful bokeh can do. Even personal stories of poems can add that extra level of emotional connection that pulls people into an image.
Written Words are Incredibly Powerful
Fine art photography lends itself in particular for storytelling by adding words. Since a fine art image is intended for wall art it always comes with an artistic message. The 'fine art' label can be applied to various categories including landscape, wildlife, portrait, street or architectural photography. It's your task as an online seller to enable your clients to be able to decide whether a fine art photograph is worthy to be permanently mounted to their wall. Providing them with a short story behind the still image can really make them feel the message the image conveys. By using the right words you can make them feel the story of an image with as many of their senses as possible, including sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.
Professional photography in particular, is a medium that intensely connects with customers based on emotion. A wise business strategy would therefore be to identify your business success formula primarily based on return on emotion (ROE) instead of return on investment (ROI). Emotionally connected customers buy more of your products, visit your website more often and recommend you more to potentially new customers. Marketing wise, adding a complementing story, is therefore the best offer you can make to your customers.
To tap into the emotional motivators and guide your target audience to connect with your images and make them really decide to buy your professional fine art prints 'storytelling marketing' is a big part of the connection phase of your ROE plan. Yes these sound like big words. But what it really comes down to is that for each fine art image that you are offering online for sale it is important to write and add a short story to accompany and guide your picture.
The story can describe the real life circumstances at the moment the picture was taken. But instead of writing according to reality also a completely fictional poetic story can be told. Even in simple language this can be a very powerful addition to the image and really make it come alive. Where you draw the line between fantasy and reality is completely up to the creativity of you, the photographer, as the author and copyright owner of the image. The artistry of a fine art image is both in the image as well as in the guiding story that complements it. Both are created with the heart and soul of the dedicated artist, who shares his/her own source of inspiration and unique perspective on each and every creative image resulting in a genuine, real and exclusive personal artist signature. Doing so will make your customers value the work you do and the artworks you create!
Fine Art Images and Written Stories
Here below you can see a few examples of fine art images to which a creative story has been added to give it an extra depth of feeling that a photograph alone could never achieve. Some stories are real, some fictive, while others contain a mix of fiction and reality.
Legends of Mazorst
The wind was strong and dark clouds were approaching fast. As the light was slowly fading a pounding sound was swelling louder and louder. A thunderous sound of hooves suddenly came across the land. Three wild horses! They were running as fast as they could, like something was chasing them, or like they were chasing something. They came dangerously close and then suddenly stopped in front of me. Their faces looked determined and strong. Their leader looked at me. Her big darkling eyes showed curiosity and wonder. She was elegant and looked into the world with peace. Her friends observed the environment and kept watch. They weren’t afraid. In fact, they seemed to enjoy the turmoil. Their tails were swishing and the hair on their manes blew wildly in the wind. She kept looking at me as if she knew something. As the wind rose up and roared through the trees she winked at me and appeared to say “Where are we going now?”. Before I could show her how grateful I was for this magic and soulful meeting she was gone and as quickly and suddenly as they had come, they disappeared into the distance.
The symphony of nature is a sweet melody of perfect harmony that purifies the soul. It’s a joyful play of sounds and whistles gently scattering the leaves like a summer breeze. It’s the music of the woods, a never ending stream of sounds and silences soothing the ears. It’s the healing force that turns fears into smiles of triumph making you dance with sparkles in your eyes. It’s the graceful flow of an early morning sunrise that promises a new day. It’s a green concert of an infinite number of visual arrangements pleasing the eyes. It’s a magnificent illumination of greens breathing in and out giving life to the forest. It’s a world with varying shades of color creating a palette of beauty reminiscent of a Monet artwork. It’s the light of mother nature with all her glorious colors of magnificence, rekindling the feelings of love and happiness. It’s a small world creating peace for the little birds and harmony for each of us.
The Two Musketeers
Love felt lonely and threatened.
In need of some friends to lean on.
The days were long and dreary with
Hate knocking at everyone's door.
Love glimpsed Faith approaching and knew
Hope was not far behind.
Faith was greatly weakened and vulnerable,
Wounded by the words of discouragement.
Heavily distracted but determined to move on,
and all this time,
Hope was near.
Hope arrived... limping severely.
The journey had been quite long,
Searching for Something to hold on to.
Hope was weak but would not give up,
There is always hope, no matter how small.
Hope, Faith and Love;
Together, they formed a bond and
Began flourishing once again!
Together, they opened the doors
Of the hearts in need of repair.
Together, they rescued all,
Filling them to overflowing.
Enabling and empowering them,
To fulfill their mission In the lands of Despair.
The Blessed Goose
A wild goose was searching all her life for who she really is. Nowhere she could find the truth, not in the rivers, not in the pools, not in the lakes nor in the sea. Unconsciously and not knowingly, all she wanted was a place of mercy, of peace, healing and presence. A place where she could just be. Many times she moved all over the country. Never she had any friends or family, everybody just disregarded her. All this time she lived her life in solitary existence. Over the years that passed she became to accept her life. Without realising it, all her life she has lived on the run making her tired and feeling hurt. But her imagination and her inner voice kept her going. Her quest continued. Until she stumbled across the answer. On her journey one day she landed in the city of ’s-Hertogenbosch. Everything here is weird but beautiful, she thought. And all of a sudden she knows where she is. This was the place where she lost her truth. She held her breath as she recalled the pain. It was in the Middle Ages when her soulmate suddenly disappeared in one of the surreal and nightmarish paintings of Dutch painter Jheronimus Bosch. And it was in that moment that she lost her one and only, her true love. From then on her noble and precious life became lonely and empty. Time and again when she looks into the water of the canals in 's-Hertogenbosch she sees the reflection of her dearest, her soulmate from the distant past. She's heartbroken but confident. This is the place where she’s meant to be.
The Poet's Castle
The Poet's Castle
The Poet lives as a king in a lonely castle. In the morning he wakes up to stare out of the window. It’s snowing. The air is full of snowflakes like the sky on a starry night. He’s thinking. In today’s world everyone is busy running after money. In this rat race we cannot stand and stare. Only the sheep and the cows have the time to stand and stare. According to the Poet we are feeling rushed and missing out on the beauty of nature. The Poet wants us to live a rich life, a new life filled with time. Not blinded by our cares. Not acting as mere machines being oblivious of the beauty that surrounds us. He wants us to have time, time to stand beneath the trees and look out into the open, time to see the squirrels preparing for hibernation in the woods, time to enjoy the tranquility of the falling snowflakes and time to notice the small pleasures of life. He wants us to enjoy her, like a graceful dancer, nimble on her feet. He’s staring. A new morning. Today’s snow seems as tranquil as yesterday. He’s thinking.
Return on Emotion (ROE)
So how do you feel after seeing the images and reading the accompanying stories? Did it make you feel more connected with the characters, even if they are animals? Would the added words make you more tempted to buy an image? Did an image come alive or even give you goosebumps? Or did you possibly have the impression all of a sudden to get lost in a fairy tale? Whatever kind of emotion you had it is evident that stories add an extra dimension to an existing piece of art in an effort to make it more valuable and speak to the potential new owner. Make return on emotion (ROE) also part of your online business to engage with your audience and establish a lasting connection!