reasons why pictures are essential to human history: Before we dive into this piece, I’ll like you to imagine the world without pictures. Yes, I understand how scary and ridiculous it sounds too. But it just further drives the importance of this wonderful invention that came less than 100 years ago and has seen immense contributions and evolution in the past 2-3 decades.

How we evolve and build on the existing civilization and creative materials is by continuing through memories and stories which are better told by images and pictures.

It is needless to say that pictures have shaped the majority of our cognitive behaviors and memories as humans.

So, today, we look at 10 reasons why pictures are essential to human history and evolution.

1. Preservation of culture

reasons why pictures are essential to human

This is highly relevant in African culture specifically for the fact that we didn’t have much of a centralized history archive for many cultures and events, dressing and important details get lost in time.

For example, the culture in the Southern part of some north western states in Nigeria is dated to have been existing since 1500 BC and vanished in 500 AD. The Nok terracotta, which is a symbolic sculpture was dug after years of been buried in the earth and no form of identifying it in imagery existed before then.

Nok Terracota

Many of the artifacts and figurine integral to cultural norms in the Old Benin and other South South states haven’t been on the African soil for decades but we are still able to identify them through shared images and paintings.

This applies for cultural attires and items of cultural identification.

2. Art or selling

Picture exhibition

Gone are the days when pictures are just pictures. Galleries now showcase pictures as part of their art exhibitions, framed and packaged for audience use. Photographers, models, experts and celebrants are now making pictures to cater to an artistic need and also make money off of it.

3. Teaching

Education wouldn’t have been as complete as it is without the usage of images to further explain some texts. Our text books, storybooks, dictionaries, articles, magazines, presentations and lecturers have been much more effective with the usage of pictures to directly communicate the message.

4. Marketing

Humans are a visual specie and an image is capable of provoking emotions and sentiments on the part of the viewer and marketers have leveraged on pictures as an important tool of marketing and reaching their target audience.

5. Inspiration

Our mind is a free agent and pilots itself with suggestions through imagery. If you are a makeup artist, seeing pictures of different makeup faces builds on your inspiration to create more styles identifiable to you. The same goes for every craft and skill set that requires inspiration.

6. News

As it stands, there is less weight to news that doesn’t show a picture or some sort of visual corroboration for the report. This why investigative journalists are never apart from their cameras and when time comes to explore a situation for the purpose extracting news, they go to any length to get a picture.

7. Evidence

A picture either taken from a phone, a camera, a CCTV or a dash cam can all pass for evidence in any court of law if the mode of obtaining them is legitimate. A single picture can save you jail sentence or even death sentence.

8. Storytelling

This applies both in professional storytelling and the act of storytelling in lectures and presentations.

When you use images to help the audience visualize your story better because it makes more sense when they can see it mentally.

9. Memories

The only reason why you know how you looked as a baby, toddler or a child is majorly because of the pictures taken and preserved for the purpose memories and the maintenance of history. Your birthdays, graduation, dedication, wedding and many memorable events.

10. Creative expression

This is where photographers communicate to the world using symbols, nature, wildlife, art and other forms of expressions through pictures.

So, which of these have you explored?

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