The adage that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ may be a little worn in our age of digital photography, but it’s still true. One great photograph can create emotional connections at the speed of a lightning strike while words weave their magic around ideas more slowly. Taking a great photograph, as any of you with a camera will know, and yes, that means all of you, is not as easy as it seems. A while back I posted on how to get some wonderful pictures of Paris and I can tell you that advice came out of many, many not so great photographs and a lot of walking. The Internet now offers us an infinite supply of images. Flickr has thousands of images added every minute. Ok, the quality is variable and stuff’s hard to find, but it is a fantastic resource and insight into what people feel strongly enough about to click and then share. Another great source are the big image libraries. Again thanks to the Internet, they have gone from being specialist resources for advertising and media professionals to becoming far more accessible. For Lovemarks, we drew on Getty Images and Corbis , both massive image libraries built up over decades, but for me the standout has always been Peter Menzel. Menzel has enriched my understanding of the influence of culture, the power of objects and the prospects of a sustainable planet more than hundreds of articles, reports and books. I read somewhere that the average stock photograph, say of someone drinking a cup of coffee, has a useful life-span of about four years. And there’s the difference. Menzel’s works are good for a lifetime.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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