We've all heard the old adage, "A picture's worth a thousand words." Many have endorsed this message, emphasizing the role of photos and other graphics in reporting, marketing, books, social media and other mediums.
But, when it comes to a photos's worth, I'm a non-believer. A content atheist, if you will. There is no one type of content to rule them all. Have you ever seen a photo, only to want to know more about what is happening? That's why we have captions. And stories. To give the reader more.
There are a couple of things that pictures do that text cannot: Photos and graphics can grab the reader's attention. Also, in some research I've been doing, I encountered a 2000 study which suggested that photos help the reader to retain more of the information they read in-text.
So, will photos save the world? I think not. Will they save your publication, or suddenly make terrible writing fantastic? No. But are they one piece in the puzzle of good content? Absolutely.