A Picture is Worth a Thousand Dollars (Or Likes)

Retouching services for professional photographers

We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. But what’s a picture’s monetary worth? It can be surprisingly high, given the context. We humans are visual creatures. We like browsing images of pleasant scenery, momentous events, attractive people, and, of course, cats (other animals, too). This is why imagery in advertising is so crucial. We might know that the burger we order from the fast food chain won’t look like it does in the commercial (probably not even close), but the ideal image gets us in the restaurant anyway.

Photos, Photos Everywhere

The Internet has changed the world in many ways, but perhaps most significantly it has allowed for the generation and proliferation of billions of images across the globe at light speed. Each day over 1.8 billion photos are shared by internet users! Image sharing apps like Instagram have only expanded this surge of global photo sharing. Instagram alone houses over 300 million active users who share around 70 million images daily. And in 2012 the app hosted over 500 million images, which is 30 times greater than the Library of Congress’ entire photo library.

Images run rampant in our society today, and they are largely tied to our economic consumption. E-commerce, which heavily relies on the transfer of data and images, is now a $1.6 trillion industry. Advertising has always been image-based, and online advertising (a $149 billion annual trade) has only taken this to the next level, exponentially.

How Important are Digital Photo Enhancement Services?

Not all images are created equally, however. Studies show that compared to user-generated images, professional photographs are twice as likely to be shared. Why is this? Professional photographers are trained to see things that perhaps most people only notice subconsciously, such as contrast, texture, and depth. Plus, many professional photographers have access to digital photo enhancement services and professional photo editing software and equipment. This combination of skill and resources makes for more appealing (and therefore more share-worthy) images.

In terms of the real estate industry, professional photography and digital photo enhancement services have a big impact on sales. For example, 64% of homes in the $400,000 to $500,000 range that were photographed with DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) cameras sold within six months. Only 46% of homes were sold within six months in this same price range that were photographed with point-and-shoot cameras. As the price range increases, the significance of DSLR photography is diminished, yet still relevant. Redfin also found that listed homes with DSLR photos ended up selling for more than their list prices. This effect is also more significant for lower priced houses.

A picture may be worth not only a thousand words but a thousand dollars (or more) depending on the quality and proliferation of it. In today’s image-ridden world, professional photographs still stand out. In fact, participants in a National Press Photographers Association study could tell 90% of the time if a photograph was taken by a professional or an amateur. So for businesses looking to sell a product, or people considering selling a home, remember how valuable an image can be!

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