“I’ll believe it when I see it”…..

We’ve heard it and thought it, all of our lives.

“Show ME!” is the response we get from those we are trying to impress, one way or another.  It’s like they don’t take your WORD for it, they have to SEE it.

This past weekend, I hauled a lot of storm-broken pine branches to the street-side for the city crews to mulch up.  When I told this to my wife, that the pile extended practically the width of the property, she wanted to see a picture (she’s out of town).  It’s like she could not imaging all of that wood being hauled to the street-side.  So, I snapped a photo with my phone and sent it to her.  Her response?  “O-M-G!  You moved ALL of that wood?”

Just last week, we heard stories of the massive tornado damage in Alabama….but it’s not until we SEE the pictures, we grasp the utter devastation and make an attempt to understand the enormity of the damage the twister wreaked on so many people and their belongings.  “It’s just gone.”   Three Words.  But to see it, each photo is worth a thousand words.

Now, we learn the story of the raid and the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  As quickly as possible, the news services and social media popped out news stories and accounts by the thousands.  We all take the President’s word for it, the man is dead.  But other’s think this is just some stunt.  “We want proof! Show us the photo of OBL”, they say.

The problem is: It’s kinda gruesome!  The man was shot in the face and the chest.  It’s not going to be for the faint of heart, and the photo will get plastered all over the place, just like Ferd’s 12 point buck, hanging on the pole in Mancelona.  “Show me!…Aw, that ain’t no 12 pointer…………lookee…..1,2,3….Holy CRAP, Ferd!  It IS a 12 pointer!”

Seeing is believing.

Seeing seems to be some kind of “proof”.

Words just don’t seem to have the authority.

Our brains can process the words, “Billy just cut off his hand with the chainsaw”…..

….Or, I can show you the photo……..

If Sally gets bit in the face by a pit bull, you read the words.

If the photos of Sally’s mangled face are shown to the dog’s owner and to the court….well, there is the POWER.  PROOF, her face is no longer as lovely as it once was.  That, we believe!

‘Every Picture Tells a Story’,  or is it, ‘Because I can see it, I believe it’?

What do YOU want people to believe?

What does it take to make you understand the power of a photo?

Think of any catalog…..would you buy a product just from the words?  NO!  You want to see what it looks like.  We can “read” a million things in an instant about a photo of a new sun dress, a lawn mower, a house, a person, by the “looks” of it.

Hang the words!  The PROOF is in the PHOTO…the single most powerful and efficient communication tool ever developed! (pun intended)

So, do you want to TELL a story of what you have, or what you did, or what’s happened or about YOU?


Do you want to SHOW every one the photos?

(the good old “SHOW&TELL”)

If you want your ‘audience’ to believe “X”, you’ve gotta show’em “X”!

Are you leaving “photographic evidence” behind of your existence?  For friends, relatives and the world?  Simply because photography records, preserves and makes “things” believable.  There is just something about the camera lens that we trust, more than words or memories to assist our brains in believing and seeing.

To me, it’s a daily honor, to record the lives of others.  Not just a simple snapshot, but a collaboration of the subject, my approach, the light, the lens, the coaching (I don’t “pose” anyone), then blending it all together to become a fantastic final image.  A perfect capture of a delightful subject.  A story in an image….a great story.  The story of “Beautiful YOU”!

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