Page updated August 06, 2023
Photographs convey a visual image and have the ability to evoke an emotional response and/or a reaction to its impact.
An emotion can make people feel what they never felt before. Thus, a photograph is one way to show a story about things that cannot be told in words.
The stronger the emotion invoked by a photograph, the longer it is remembered. This response/reaction is based on a variety of different factors and what each person sees in an image.
Photographers must remember that the simplicity, complexity or quality of the photograph may have little to do with how memorable the image is….. “it is the emotional and/or impact that counts.”
A powerful image without emotion can still have an impact that can be compelling and depict the subject in a thought-proving or powerful way. These images can be appealing, disturbing or arouse interest.
Photographers often create images that are technically astonishing. While the resulting photographs might be very good, they will not have long-term impact as emotional ones or those with impact.
"It is important to always remember that the real “truth” of any photograph, as in all art, lies in its ability to evoke emotion!”
“An excellent photograph is the one which conveys not only the visual image, but the emotional environment as well. The most memorable photographs are ones that evoke a certain mood or feeling.”