Over the past few weeks the unthinkable happened – naked photos of Prince Harry were leaked, first online and then in print when a British tabloid decided they would make for a well-exposed expose.
These images weren’t posed, or the stylistic look-at-me-I’ve-just-got-out-of-the-shower kind of shots that someone like, say, Rihanna might have accidentally leaked on purpose. These were I’m-going-to-take-a-sneaky-shot-of-the-prince-and-his-crown-jewels-while-we’re-playing-strip-poker pictures, the kind of blurry, drunk images that are almost blink and you miss ’em (the crown and the jewels).
It wasn’t even like old Harry was doing anything scandalous. It wasn’t a sex video, he wasn’t getting an enlargement, he was just being a drunk dude – and if you’ve met a drunken early 20’s male who isn’t willing to drop his pants when in a room full of girls, especially in Vegas, then you are living under a well-clothed rock.
For the quality and content of the photos, they sure got a lot of media attention, which brought my mind to the old adage: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words.
In this case, it certainly is true. The pics of Harry made everyone think “party boy, maybe a little sleazy, good times, late nights”. Whereas if a picture of Harry like this was leaked online:
we have a feeling the story circulating would be very different. And that there’d be a whole lot more ladies doing some serious research on the royal family tree.
Whereas if the photo of Harry had shown him naked in a situation like this:
I think it’s pretty safe to say we’d all be thinking something different again, and perhaps the authorities would be involved.
So let’s focus on books and magazines; how many times have you bought one of these based on the cover image alone? Let’s look at books first. I’ve owned the Kindle app on my iPad for just over five months now, and in that time have purchased well over 25 books. Some of these I have read two pages of and then discarded – because, for me, the cover and synopsis of a book is enough to take a chance on. The image and a few short sentences will hopefully give me an indication of the 1000+ words inside.
When it comes to magazines, I think the image is more important again. Magazines aren’t a major purchase item, often giving you change for a tenner, so it’s easy to just look at the cover and think “Yes! Celebrities have cellulite, too!” or “Really? Bikini clad babe with a freshly killed boar? I don’t think so…” before you’ve even so much as opened the magazine. You need the image to tell you about the millions of words within.
A picture really is worth a thousand words. When deciding on the cover for your next book, magazine or even album of Facebook photos, don’t underestimate it. Make sure you choose an image that will reflect the content inside, a photo consistent with others in your field that has a strong connection with your target market. Writing chick lit fiction? Maybe an illustration, or something with a strong emotional connect. Selling a magazine on news and current affairs? A current image of something relevant to your contents and the times, with an easy-to-read header. Loading up the Facebook pics of you and your mates killing it at the club on the weekend? Duck-faced selfie. No brainer.
Research, research, research. Show your friends your image example and ask what category they would place it in. Ask work colleagues, ask strangers. You can’t do enough research when it comes to something as vital as this.
Just make sure you don’t ask anyone wearing a trench coat. We hear Harry’s got a taste for public exposure now, and he may need to let off some naked steam.
Photos: stock.xchng, iStockphoto