Picture Power Quick Shots
comparing photography and the spoken word

teaching photography to kids

Photography and spoken word are both forms of communication that allow us to express ourselves and share our experiences with others.

However, while spoken word relies on language and sound to convey meaning, photography is a non-verbal form of communication that relies solely on visual elements to communicate.

photography transcends language

teaching photography to kids

Photography captures a moment in time and presents it to the viewer in a way that transcends language. The composition, colors, and framing of a photograph all work together to tell a story and convey meaning.

Unlike spoken word, photography doesn't require any specific language or cultural background to be understood. It's a universal language that can be appreciated and understood by people from all walks of life.

photos are silent

teaching photography to kids

One of the unique aspects of photography as a non-verbal form of communication is that it doesn't have sound. When we view a photograph, our brains are freed up to focus entirely on the visual elements of the image.

We don't have to worry about processing spoken language or listening for specific sounds. This allows us to create our own meaning and interpretation of the photograph, based on our own experiences and perceptions.

Photography is open to interpretation

teaching photography to kids

Without sound, photographs become more abstract and open to interpretation. We can't rely on the speaker's tone or inflection to give us clues about their intention or meaning.

Instead, we're left to interpret the image on our own, and this process of interpretation can lead to a more profound understanding and connection with the image.

When we view a photograph, we have the freedom to create our own meaning and to project our own emotions onto the image.

For example, a photograph of a sunset can evoke different emotions and meanings for different people. Some may see it as a peaceful and calming scene, while others may see it as a symbol of the end of something, such as a relationship or a phase of life.

freedom of interpretation can create a better connection between people

teaching photography to kids

This freedom of interpretation is one of the reasons why photography is such a powerful and effective means of communication. It allows us to connect with others on a deeper level by sharing our own experiences and emotions in a way that's open to interpretation.

This is in contrast to spoken word, which can often be more prescriptive and straightforward in its meaning.

Moreover, the non-verbal aspect of photography can allow for more creativity and artistic expression than spoken word. Photographers can use a wide variety of techniques, such as lighting, framing, and post-processing, to create unique and captivating images that convey their intended meaning.

This creative aspect of photography is what allows it to be used in a wide range of contexts, from fine art to photojournalism to commercial advertising.

fundamental differences between the spoken word and photography

teaching photography to kids

While photography and spoken word are both forms of communication, they differ in fundamental ways. Photography is a non-verbal form of communication that relies solely on visual elements to convey meaning.

This lack of sound allows viewers to create their own meaning and interpretation of the image, leading to a deeper connection and understanding with the photograph.

Photography's non-verbal nature also allows for more creativity and artistic expression, making it a powerful and versatile form of communication.

Photography lesson plans pack (Printables)

Jump right into teaching photography with our exclusive Photography Lesson Plans pack.


  • 10 Photography Lesson Plans
  • 1 Teacher's Guide 
  • 3 Photography Study Guides
  • 30-Day Photography Challenge
  • 1 Student Workbook
  • 24 Cut-Out Photo Flash Cards
  • 1 Photo Scavenger Hunt


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