There’s an old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words.” it has several variations and just as many attributions to go along with it. In short, the adage conveys the idea that more can be presented with an image and the person looking can quickly absorb the story through a single image. Although it makes sense that more then one image could be used, such as before and after shots.
Can a picture by itself really convey the story? I would suggest that a picture and the story go hand in hand. Let’s say you were talking to an artist and he’s telling you about a painting he made. He’s telling you how it was the hottest day ever and all he could feel was the heat enveloping him and pressing down on him making him swelter. As you’re listening to the story you’re looking at his painting of shades of red, lines and brushstrokes licking up and down, accented by oranges and yellows and tints of black. You begin to feel the heat as you’re listening and looking, the two senses coming together to absorb not just a story, but an experience.
Now, let’s say the artist has walked away and you’re looking at a different piece. It’s the opposite, it’s comprised of shades of blue, swirling and mingling with light violets, greens, and whites accenting the curls of coolness. As the painting pulls you in you feel the colors surrounding you, calming and serene. You may quickly assume this piece represents the coldest day of the year for the artist.
Then in talking with the artist you find out that it was painted on the hottest of days, actually right after the one in red. Instead of being what he felt, it was what he wanted to feel on that miserable day. It was what he conveyed in his picture as ideal. Now we understand how the picture is half the experience and the story is the other half.
One helps us see the details and what is not easily explained, while the other provides context and gives us a deeper understanding.