Using Photography in Writing


Not everyone who writes wants to create their own photos to accompany articles and blog posts, and with the availability of free graphics online, it’s relatively easy to find suitable illustrations when we need them.

Photos are often the inspiration for my posts here. I look through my digital albums until I see one that suggests a topic or potential analogy. Occasionally I take specific shots to illustrate an existing idea, but I’m a shameless shutterbug, snapping everything that catches my attention whether it has merit or not. You just never know….

Magazine editors seem to appreciate my offer to provide a few related photos when submitting material, and not long ago even used one as cover art. But I’m not a great photographer – I discard more photos than I keep, and often wish I had the talent of people like Susan Etole, Sandra Heska King and Ann Voskamp, or my daughter Shari Green and cousin Gary McGuire, whose photos always make my breath catch.

For decades I was content with my 35mm SLR camera until, eight years ago, we were given a digital – a Pentax Optio 33L – as a retirement gift. I was ecstatic with its 3.2 megapixels and 3x optical zoom and have used it extensively, totally content with its capabilities and portability.  This weekend, however, I received an early birthday gift… a new digital camera. It isn’t highly sophisticated as cameras go, but with 16.2 megapixels and 30x zoom, my new Sony Cyber-shot has features that I’ll probably never fully learn how to use, while still being small enough to take everywhere. Besides taking the usual still shots and movies, it records in HD and 3D, and even has GPS!  I just have to figure out how it works. It has ‘auto-intelligence’ that is much smarter than I am!

I like its ‘soft skin mode’, which will be great for portraits of grandchildren… maybe not a good choice for bird shots, but hey, I’m experimenting.

So tell me, do you think articles and posts are enhanced by the addition of graphics and photos, or most times is the text sufficient on its own? If you use photos, do you take your own or borrow from another source?