Monday, June 1, 2009

What's a Picture Worth?

I think my regular readers know what a soft spot I have for combat photographers. Also, you don't need to spend much time here to know that I hold Gold Star Families very close to my heart. There are not enough words for me to tell you about the awe and respect I have for both these groups. I am always humbled by the amazing people who belong in either of those groups.

So it is that I am sharing a piece that my friend Claire of Knee Deep in the Hooah! has written. Jim Spiri is both a combat photographer AND a Gold Star Parent. I also ask you to follow the links I will give you, and see what you can do to help this amazing man finish HIS mission.

Together, we can do this. Read on:

What’s a picture worth?

May 27th, 2009 | By Claire | Category: 1-Featured Article


You need to know Jim Spiri. Jim is a combat photographer but he is not a member of the media elite. The elite offer us sympathy to sell ad space. Jim offers us empathy to soothe the soul. The difference is more than faint. Read on.

The old adage goes “a picture is worth a thousand words.” It’s a great parallelism that illuminates two things: 1) A picture can tell the content of a story faster and more complete[ly] sometimes than a thousand words crafted by even a gifted writer, and 2) A picture can evoke an emotion (affect) that a writer may have to write a thousand words to evoke (and may still not fully capture).

I find this angle to picture taking interesting since the parallelism is drawing on two components of communication — content and affect. In my past-life I had to study many models of human behavior and relationships. When you study to be a therapist (or really even study to decide if you will become a therapist) you have to learn many angles of effective communication. My favorite model for therapeutic communication has been the Empathy Scale model by Carkuff and Truax. This model is complimentary to and part of the neo-Freudian movement and transanalytical therapeutic models.

Now, before you go ‘huh?’ and decide to not read any further, let me explain. This is going somewhere — it’s leading us to combat footage, trust me....

PLEASE! Go over to Knee Deep here, and read the rest. As well as being a dynamite piece of writing, Claire also has links to Mr. Spiri's own site. As Claire says:"You need to know Jim Spiri."

Go. NOW.

What's a picture by Jim Spiri worth? Priceless.

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