Photography has been an integral part of successful marketing for more than a hundred years. Images provide a direct route to our emotion driven selves. Our brains are wired to interpret images as triggers for responses such as fear, sex, aggression, flight and desire. Words are interpreted and filtered but images have instant impact on our mammalian brains. Marketers use this fact to great advantage. They are advocates and make no bones about that. Publishing subtly biased images is a basic technique of mass persuasion and propaganda.
Consider the following images.
These images all have an emotional impact of some kind on the viewer. Our brain determines at a glance whether to trigger survival mode or some emotional response without conscious thought. It is simple, image perceived and emotional response triggered. This is the basis for much of the mass marketing that we see every day. As our attention spans shrink, marketing via high impact imagery becomes ever more important.
With the exception of straight documentary vernacular work, photographers should always strive to create images that bring forth emotional responses. We craft images using content and arrangements of elements to make a visual statement. In effect we are marketing our work. In my mind much of the difference between a technically competent image and a great photograph is emotional content. An attractive image that does not make an emotional connection will be easily forgotten in a world saturated with images.