The Emotional Impact of a Photograph

I’m not very good with words, but enjoy communicating with others.  To solve the problem, I’m learning the skills of photography and use this media to express my stories.  It has not been easy, since photography was not as simple as I initially thought.  Point and shoot was only part of the equation.  There is a lot more than aiming and pressing the shutter button.

I’ve been taking snapshots for over six years now and blogging for several years more.  After retiring, I have all the time in the world to go out and roam the city or our house in search of subjects to convey my stories.  Some of them are good, others not so good, and others outright ugly.  But that’s okay.  I understand there is a learning curve for just about anything in life.

Over all these years of learning photography, I’ve learned that photographs are very powerful.  The images aren’t just a solitary snapshot of a single moment.  They are far-reaching reminders of memories both good and bad. They are catalysts for emotional reactions.  They are powerful connections to something larger than yourself and visual representation of your inner most desires and fears.

Credit: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

No collection of words, or sequence of sentences can match the impact of a powerful image.  Seeing something, whether it be a horrific image of a war or an inspiring example of humanity, instantly makes it real. It makes everything relatable on a personal level.

Credit: Life Magazine

Images can more succinctly represent this world than complicated prose.  A strong image doesn’t need an explanation because the content of the photograph speaks for itself.  Pictures are wonderfully complex in their simplicity:  One image con tell an entire story.

Credit: Wikipedia Encyclopedia. Photograph of Eddie Adams an extraordinary war photojournalist during the Vietnam War.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  An image can capture the essence of something powerful, more than any writer or poet. An image is simple:  it’s right there in front of you, completely unfiltered.  Words can get lost in translation and taken out of context; their meaning confused and misinterpreted.  Images aren’t just a mixture of colors caught on paper or displayed on a computer screen.  They are something that can stir and evoke raw emotions inside us.

Credit: Life Magazine

Psychologists explain that images help to easily convey four key stimulants:  expectations, emotion, motivation and culture.  All four obviously hold a significant importance in daily human life and tap into the innate id.  Image and visuals also elicit projections from the perceiver.

Credit: Wikipedia Encyclopedia. Child soldiers in Africa.

Today my story is about a lovely flower hovering above a large cup on our dining table.  I will say no more.  The flower speaks for itself.

Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

Good Day.

Suggested Reading:  24 Pictures From Around the World That Will Make You Re-Evaluate Your Entire Life


6 thoughts on “The Emotional Impact of a Photograph”

  1. Hola Omar,
    I am going to take issue with your first paragraph! You are great at communicating AND using photography to enhance that communication. Nena and I would not have spent years following your blog with our morning coffee if you were not good at posting a good story.

    Now, keep doing what you are doing and you just may convince me that I need one of those new cameras (my birthday is approaching and I’m leaving hints! haha).

    jim and nena

    1. Hola Jim and Nena:

      Thank you so much for your support and of your impressions of my writing skills. As you know, I take English very seriously and have also added photography to my passions.

      I strongly encourage you to take a hard look at the Fujifilm cameras. They are changing the landscape of photography together with Panasonic, Olympia, Samsung and Sony. Their prices are well within our reach.

      Best Regards,


  2. I so agree, that you are such a wonderful writer! I’ve been enjoying your blog tremendously since I found it and you have inspired me to mess around with my camera more. I do love this post on how photographs will evoke certain emotions and feelings with just a snapshot of a moment in time. Yes, keep doing what you are doing 🙂

  3. Thank you Barbara for your wonderful comments. I study English almost everyday for my daily blogs. Photography has captured my mind as well. There is so much to learn.

    I’m glad that you enjoy taking pictures and I’m sure your husband will support that enthusiasm to look at the world with baby eyes.

    Enjoy the rest of the day, Barbara.


  4. First of all I think you are underestimating your writing skills, I think you are a terrific communicator Omar 🙂 Photography is difficult at times but what passion is not. I love music and have at times played guitar, harmonica and currently bass guitar. I would be lying to you if I told you it’s not difficult but I tend to enjoy challenging myself. I think it helps keep me sharp and aware. I have been into photography for over 40 years and not a day goes by that I don’t learn something new.

    Your images above brought back so many memories of thumbing through Life magazine and it was a very sad day when they stopped publishing. It was probably one of the finest publications for people who love images.

    Finally I love the last image. The composition is perfect and the choice of B&W is perfect, well done my friend 🙂

  5. Coming from an experienced photographer, I really appreciate your comments. As you probably know, English is my second language, thus my difficulty in writing in this language. I’m struggling to understand its linguistic structure for a long time, albeit it has been a steep learning curve. Clear communications is essential if you want a blog to be read day in and day out.

    Pictures are great complements to create interest in a blog, as I depicted in this post. Those are my three passions at the moment: blogging, photography and English.

    I want you to know, that I carefully follow your work on the Internet in an effort to augment my work. There is so much to learn. I enjoy viewing all those beautifully created photographs in black and white in Monochromia. It’s one of my favorite web sites.

    Again, Joe, thank you for your kind words. I’m most grateful.



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