Let’s explore how money in images and photos can shape visual stories and have an impact on creative projects. Check our list out!
Money talks. Money is power. While these adages may not have originated with photography, there’s no question that they’re relevant when it comes to visual storytelling. Images of money can allude to anything from wealth and power to frugality. It all depends on how they’re presented.
For graphic designers, brand marketers, and social media managers, images of money may routinely factor into your work, whether you’re looking for a photo to accompany content-related material to preparing taxes, or one to enhance a post about money-saving tips. Money can communicate a strong message, and visuals of money can be persuasive. However, because money can also provoke some strong opinions, it’s important to consider your selections carefully.
When you’re telling a story online that involves money, the following tips can help you ensure your visuals are always powerful and effective.
The Psychology of Money
Humans’ relationship with money is a delicate courtship. Image via Africa Studio.
It’s no secret that humans have a complex relationship with money. For some, it can induce stress. “For those people, spending money becomes excruciating because they feel like they’re making themselves vulnerable,” says Dr. Brad Klontz, psychologist and founder of the Financial Psychology Institute. Others, however, can “develop a sense of pride or status” when they spend, making their relationship to money quite different.
The way we see money is also something that’s fluid—it can change over time. For example, some psychologists recommend carrying a hundred dollar bill in your wallet to help curb spending. “We treat money differently depending on how we categorize it,” says Atlanta-based psychologist Dr. Mary Gresham. “We associate a lot of small bills with miscellaneous, petty cash, while we associate large bills with special money.”
It stands to reason that these attitudes and impressions impact the way we feel toward images of money. A simple visual of a stack of cash can incite a very different response depending on an individual’s socioeconomic status and level of comfort with their personal finances.
When you’re sourcing images of money, it’s wise to take all of this into consideration. To ensure your visuals are conveying what you want them to, look for images that send a clear message so there’s less room for interpretation. Images that feature people can be effective as well, as their facial expressions can communicate the emotions you’d like your audience to feel. This way, your message will get across regardless of personal perceptions.
Redefining Money’s Meaning
Capture your audience’s attention by presenting money in unexpected ways. Image via whiteMocca.
One of the most effective ways to employ images of money in visual storytelling is to evaluate how it’s perceived and turn that well-worn impression on its head. By surprising your audience in this way, you can provoke thought and boost engagement.
For most consumers, for example, stacks of bills are often equated with riches, so presenting bills in a way that’s unexpected can work wonders for capturing your audience’s attention. An image of a brain made of banknotes, for example, presents money in an unusual way. It’s obvious that the image is intended to reference mindful spending, clever ways to save money, or a financial mindset, but it’s also a more memorable visual than something simple like money fanned out across a table.
The same can be said of a bill wrapped around a young plant. An image like this can represent economic growth, and is sure to catch your target customer’s eye.
Catch the customer’s eye by representing economic growth. Image via amenic181.
We’ve long known that about 65 percent of the population are visual learners. Presenting your audience with an image that tells them something while sparking their interest can go a long way toward helping you achieve your marketing goals.
You can present money in countless other ways, as well. But, remember that your audience will have their own associations with money that may influence their interpretation of an image. For this reason, context is key.
A flurry of bills can suggest overspending, but it could also communicate a windfall. A stack of coins can indicate that someone has been saving their pennies, or it could mean someone is trying to make ends meet. Your image’s ability to tell the right story also depends on the associated message. When it’s coupled with concise ad copy, a photo of money is much harder to misinterpret.
Enhancing Your Images
Alter the mood of your image by adjusting the light. Image via Nattapol_Sritongcom.
If there’s any doubt about the message an image of money will send, explore other ways to make it fit your needs and deliver the impactful result you’re after. Filters and other effects can tweak an image’s meaning, whether by casting it in a more positive light or by giving it a more somber tone. Adjusting brightness and saturation can also alter the mood of your photograph.
When you’re featuring images of money, always identify the tone you want your marketing message to strike, and try to gauge how your audience will respond to the visuals you choose. Write copy that puts the image into context and eliminates any confusion. You have countless images of money at your disposal, but featuring banknotes and coins in an unconventional way can make your content more striking.
In short, money is power when you’re strategic about how you represent it visually in your digital content.
Cover image via amenic181.
Discover financial insights, advice, and tips with these additional articles:
From National Currencies to Cryptocurrencies: FREE Currency Clip ArtsTips for Using Social Media Marketing for Your Financial Business8 Tips on How to Make Money on Instagram in 202011 Ways Photographers Can Make Money at Home in 2020Creative Ways to Make Money at Home as a Videographer
Read more: shutterstock.com