Why Pictures Speak Louder Than Words


When you look at a picture, you probably think of the memory that accompanies it. You think of what you were doing, who was with you, and maybe even why you were doing that certain action. But you certainly don’t remember everything about that time. For this very reason, we have pictures.

Chicago Skyline Photo taken by: Maggie Eldred

Pictures say something. They are more than just a landscape or a selfie. They are a statement. They explain the core of the photographer. Most of the time, that photographer, whether amateur or professional, has a certain style to their photos. Usually, the type of pictures they take relates to their life in some way.

But when I am taking pictures, I become a different person. I get into “my element” and my own world. It is a place to escape the stress of everyday life. It is a time when I can just take time to look around and take it all in.

I like to use Chicago as my example. In the city, there are so many things to look at, so many things to take in and admire; each time I am there, the scenery almost puts me in a state of overload. Every time a corner is turned there is a new sight to be seen and something new to be experienced, and pictures are a way to portray those sequences.

Pictures can be of anything. Many people believe that selfies are the type of picture to show who you are. But, the way I see it, the pictures I take of countless things other than myself represent who I am better than any “selfie” could. Selfies only show your face and not what you like to do, what your life entails, or your core values. When I take pictures, I take pictures of things I love and things I hold close to my mind and heart.

Buckingham Fountain Photo taken by: Maggie Eldred

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “picture” is defined as “a description so vivid or graphic as to suggest a mental image or give an accurate idea of something.” That is what a picture is. It is a describing device that makes memories so vivid and clear that there is not a way to forget them. It is a moment frozen in time, and in the brain.

The love and the loss, the quirky fun and the awkward times that you do not, under any circumstance, want to remember; those are pictures. Those are the the times that one day, you will look back on and laugh, or cry or have a jumble of emotions that no one can explain.

When I look at a picture, I think of that time; I think of the people I was with and what I was doing. Pictures are an escape for the photographer and the viewer. They implement imagination in the viewer as well as the photographer. Photographs were the first way of freezing time and I’m sure they won’t be the last.