Why Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words

Most readers enjoy reading newspapers or any other form of journalism with pictures. More than words, pictures have the ability to give readers a better idea on what’s going on. Pictures allow readers to actually see what’s happening in a given situation. It allows us to use imagery to understand and even relate to the story. Photographs also have power to invoke emotion and stir a certain thought.

Known as photojournalism, it is defined as ‘journalism in which written copy is subordinate to pictorial usually photographic presentation of news stories or in which a high proportion of pictorial presentation is used; broadly : news photography’, by Merriam-Webster dictionary. Photography has been introduced to news in the late 19th century and has been a driving force in journalism ever since.

What differentiates photojournalism from other types of photography is its qualities of timeliness, objectivity, and it’s narrative. Photojournalism can also be considered reporting in the form of photographs, instead of words. Photo-journalistic pictures must be able to tell the story. To photojournalists, it’s all about taking the perfect picture at the perfect time, which is known as capturing the ‘decisive moment’.

This style of photography was popularized by one of the founding fathers of photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson. Born in 1908, Cartier-Bresson used a 35mm camera and mastered candid photography. His photos captures the essence of the individual or the object, thus innovating the ‘decisive moment’ photography. Cartier-Bresson influenced photojournalism as well as many photographers. Photojournalism wouldn’t be the same without Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Today, pictures and images are essential in journalism. Newspapers and magazines features pictures and images on the cover page to grab the readers attention. Everything from the picture selection to what’s in the picture is intentional in photojournalism.

For more information on Henri Cartier-Bresson visit the following website:


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4 Responses to Why Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words

  1. Taylor Marie says:

    Love this post, I completely agree. I barely ever read the article in a newspaper or a magazine unless the title or the image next to it catches my attention.

    Would love if you added pictures to this blog post, though. 🙂

    Thanks for your post!

  2. susanacobo says:

    I get really attracted to an article if has a good photograph attached to it. I just love photography and how straightforward it can be most of the time.

  3. alyssakgauss says:

    I agree. Photos can make an article so much more prevalent and interesting.

  4. cvelazquez1 says:

    I agree completely! A story can become so much more interesting when paired with a great photo. Photographs are able to invoke certain emotions that can’t be felt by just simply reading the article. Although I don’t know much about photojournalism, this is a great post that helped me understand the importance of a powerful photograph.

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