Pictures Tell, Stories Sell

Pictures Tell, Stories Sell

It’s funny how something long forgotten can just pop into your mind with no apparent prompting.

The other day I suddenly remembered being in West Berlin in the summer of 1988 – walking around the Reichstag, the wall, the eeriness of the guard towers over in East Berlin from which glints of light caught your eye as binoculars watched you from a few hundred feet away.

And Michael Jackson.

He was doing a concert that hot summer night, and as someone who is not a fan, I really didn’t like his obnoxiously loud music ruining what was a very unique experience – walking along a wall that divided a city, deep inside East Germany.

The beauty of the Internet meant that I did a quick search and discovered that the concert was on June 19th, 1988.

So, thirty-one years ago, I took the photo at the top of this post.

Time flies.

The original photo was dark and grainy so I used Google’s PhotoScan app to get the picture into my phone and then their Snapseed app to brighten it, so the words are easier to read.

It’s as sad to read the words now as it was back then.

I always wondered what the story was behind the writing, so high up on the wall that a ladder would’ve been needed to paint those heartbreaking words.

Did the family write that message? Did they ever find Sarah Pryor?

Another search.

Yes, they did.

After 31 years, my questions finally answered, I said a prayer for the Pryor family and signed off for the night.

Now, as I’m getting ready to put the photos back into the storage box and then into the closet, I think about how important images are, but also the stories that go with them.

In your marketing, the visuals need to be on point (read how to create social media images quickly) to attract viewers and get them thinking.

But the kerosene to really light them up is the story behind the photo.

We don’t remember all the fine details of events in our past, but we’re much more likely to remember how we felt while experiencing them.

So, pour some kerosene on your marketing by sharing a story, or the back story and get people feeling something.

For photographers, that’s pretty easy:

  • Who/what’s the subject?
  • What was going on that led you to take that specific shot?
  • Where were you, why did you compose it the way you did – or edit it a certain way?
  • When was it taken – what were the lighting conditions and the weather like?
  • Why this particular subject? And
  • How did you find the location, how did you get there, how were you affected?

You now know the story of my particular photo of a message on the Berlin Wall, and the back story of a nine-year old girl, named Sarah Pryor.

How does it make you feel? How did it impact you?

Would you have felt the same way if you saw the grainy image without any commentary?

This is one idea to help you stand out from the masses of other people that do what you do. For more ways to get increased exposure in front of your ideal customer/client connect with me in a complimentary introductory call.

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