Images and Arguments

Images make arguments with what they capture and entail. The perspective they’re taken from, the setting, and creative aspects are all taken into consideration in order to portray a story, emotion, or message to a given audience. This audience is thought out throughly beforehand in order for a director or photographer to capture those elements. If you want to reach your audience, you need to capture a message that they will feel a connection to on a personal level. For example, if a phone company is wanting to put out an advertisement to tell people to stop texting and driving, they could include a photo of a teenager driving a car with all their friends with a phone in their hand from, with a view from the back seat looking towards the front windshield, with another car coming head on in the distance. They could also include a subtle or short caption that says, “it can wait,” or, “better left unread than dead.” This image argument is sending a message to people who text and drive, or don’t, to realize that picking up a phone while driving and taking their eyes off the road for a split second isn’t worth it.

A time that an image made an impact on me was when I saw a commercial from “Tobacco Free CA” with a video of an older woman with a hole in her neck from smoking cigarettes. She could barely talk and looked in pain. She told her story, and talked about how the feeling released from smoking is not worth a lifetime of worrying and sadness. The lighting in the video was low, there was slow and sad music in the background, and the camera changed angles to show views of the effects of smoking. This commercial had a big impact on me because my mom’s side of the family all smoked back in their day because it was the culture and the “thing to do.” Now, they have either passed away or have serious health issues. I look to them and the woman in the commercial and think, “I will never do that.”

I think that even though this campaign is a couple years older, it still applies to today because people are still smoking. Additionally, in the past couple year since the introduction to e-cigarettes and the current scandals surrounding the dangers of them, this campaign can still apply. The e-cigarette companies target the younger generation such as preteens, teenagers, and young adults, which means it’s easier for them to get addicted and harder for them to give up. While cigarettes may be more dangerous due to their chemical makeup, the risks still apply. I think if the CDC or a big campaign put out a video showcasing patients who have had to go to the hospital for vaping and interviews of parents, it would get the word across and be shared on various platforms. An image can be effective, but a video that has more information and someone telling a personal story can sometimes be more effective.