Professional event organizers, PR consultants and firms, internal communications teams and business associations all hire event photographers because they need photos to help market their event either to internal audiences, for fundraising purposes, to provide fresh content for their websites, or to add interest to internal or external communications vehicles to name just a few reasons.
Advertising, marketing and public relations professionals know and understand that photography (and video) greatly increase a communication’s engagement rate with its target audience. Whether it is an email communication, an advertisement, a targeted placement in media or a posting on a company’s website or blog, pure text just won’t attract eyeballs the way even one well shot photo does.
There is a biological reason for human’s need for visual stimuli as well. 80% of the information humans process is via the visual cortex. This is why there is such a premium value placed on design products, user interface and usability of websites, etc. How something looks has a strong impact on whether we choose to interact with it. When it comes to communicating information, pure text simply does not penetrate the densely crowded space messages are trying to get through these days. As more and more – we’re talking billions here – people access information on mobile devices via the web, the messages – and the information they contain – that get through are the ones that are packaged and designed to appeal to the eye first (visually stimulating), then the heart (emotionally appealing), then finally the mind (thought provoking). It is through the eye that a call to action gets results. A photograph is part of that secret sauce and good ones come from good photographers who get paid to do it for a living.
Put another way – if people want your content and are actively searching for your content they will be willing to invest the time it takes to read text and may even favour text-based information (depending on what you are communicating). But if you are trying to reach people who are not necessarily interested, or don’t yet know about what you are offering (usually a much bigger portion of your potential audience), or who simply have not yet realized that you have something they need – you need to pull them in with something that captures their attention, stimulates their animal instincts and draws on their subconscious minds. Photography does that for you. We can see and process visual information faster, more efficiently and more intensely than we can text. Images bypass a lot of the constructed blocks our mind put in place to help us navigate this buzzing, blooming world. So if you are trying to get a message through, as that one-hit wonder of the nineties taught us, it takes “more than words”.