Photography 101: An editor’s crash course

How to “show” through photography what you can’t “tell” through the words.

How to “show” through photography what you can’t “tell” through the words

Mostly, I remember eighth grade English fondly. If only I could erase the memory of the day when we were tasked with writing 100 times in our journals the words, “show, don’t tell.” As if one can exist without the other.

It used to be that corporate writers were charged to “show and tell” through the use of vivid, active and colorful words alone. Those were the days when readers read.

Now corporate publications are in competition with more than 4,000 messages that try to penetrate readers’ subconscious every day. That means that no matter how vivid, active and colorful your words are, they just aren’t enough to capture attention and motivate action.

The purpose of pictures

Photos are not placeholders nor decorative elements in your layout—they are powerful story-telling images that you must plan and execute in the same thoughtful way you plan and execute your writing. Just as your publication should reflect the organizational values and brand position of your company, so should the photography.

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