Is a picture worth a thousand words?


“A picture is worth a thousand words”

You’ve all heard this oft repeated saying, I’m sure.  I agree to a certain extent.  A photo showing a sunset often has more impact than a written description.  A perfect snap of a newborn babe in his Nanna’s arms conveys so many messages without the need for words. But, without the words, each photo is open to a different interpretation by each viewer.

The fact the sunset photo was taken the first day of your honeymoon in the most idyllic location on earth, accompanied by a meal to die for, live music and the man of your dreams is the really important back story to make that sunset different to any other you’ve ever photographed.

The story that the newborn was given the name of Nanna’s grandfather and he is the first boy born in 2 generations is worth telling.  Without that story, it’s just another cute baby pic.

Over the past month the need for words to go with photos has been reinforced once more for me.  Many of you know my mantra, “The page is not finished until the story is written“.  The reason is simple – people forget.

mum - Page 001

This gorgeous woman is my mum.  She has been living with Alzheimer’s for 7 years and has recently declined quite dramatically.  She is confused about her place in the world and frustrated that she can’t remember.  The one thing above all others that calms and centres her are her photo albums.

mum - Page 002

We sit and go through them over and over again.  She reads every word written on the pages and often spends more time looking at the words than the photos.  The words are her story, they tell of her place in the world and they help her remember happier times as though they just happened.

mum - Page 003

This particular album shares the stories of life in New Guinea in the 60’s.  On page one, Mum can’t remember ever having lived there.  By about page 8 she starts to remember and half way through she can add a few of her own stories.  That is the power of a journalled album.

So, when is the last time you wrote a meaningful story to go with your photos? Take a look through your albums.  Will you know the stories in 40 years time?

My passion is to help others make meaningful albums.  I’d love to help you do this.  Leave a comment here or head over to my Facebook page and sign up for my email newsletters.

Happy Scrappin’


7 thoughts on “Is a picture worth a thousand words?

  1. Jayne Richards

    Shaunna, so true, the words tell so much more. I must make sure I start filling the gaps in all my albums. I am sure Lena loves those albums and you too get pleasure out of seeing her enjoy them. Thinking of you and sorry I will miss you on your next trip to Melbourne. Maybe next time. Jayne

  2. Mandy Hall

    What a powerful post Shaunna. it reminds me of the movie, the Notebook. On the one hand heartbreaking to see our loved ones deteriorate yet on the other hand showing the vast importance of the story behind the pictures. What a treasure you have created to share with your Mum.

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