For Newbies Only: Use Your Camera to Capture My Imagination

Mortgage and Lending with SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) NMLS 223495

 Words without images are like eating a hardboiled egg without salt.  You'll get some good out of it, but the experience won't be very satisfying.

My mind (yours too) doesn't understand words.  It understands images. 

We don't think in words, you and I.  We think in images.  A story is a series of images.  So is a movie.  So is your brain. 

A still photo like the one on the right captures your imagination without words.  Immediately, you understand what's happening and who the characters are.  Your mind says "That eagle's in a world of trouble."

We don't think in words; we think in images.  I'll bet you think that's crazy talk. 

Your mind just created an image of crazy talk. It's likely that you couldn't describe the image easily--that's because your mind has to work to convert the image into words, and words are not your mind's native language.  Images are the language of the soul.

As a blogger, you'll soon reach the point where you wonder why people don't comment on what you've labored to write.  It's because you didn't engage their mind before it (their mind) took them some place more interesting.

My web designer, Donte' Ormsby, talks about that interest (or lack thereof) as "stickiness."  When you come to one of Donte's web pages, he wants you to stop for a second.  He's taught me to use images to achieve stickiness.  You can do the same. 

 The best advice I've ever had comes from an Israeli motivational speaker with a name that's hard to pronounce.  He said "Words are previews of coming events."  Boaz Rauchwerger is his name.  He's fantastic.

  • "I don't take pictures well."  (I can see why.)
  • "You're just naturally good with a camera."  (What you mean is "I'm not good with one.")
  • "I'm not real technical."  (And I'll never achieve skill behind the lens.)

Rauchwerger insists "If I don't want it, I won't say it."  Because words are previews of things to come

So, my newbie blogging friend, go get your camera.  Carry it with you.  When you see something that's visually compelling, take a photo.  Upload it to your computer.  Save it in a folder called Active Rain Photos, and use it in your post. 

Oh, and if you're wondering about the images, and want to know the rrrest of the story, click hereBut please some back and comment.

I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, Arizona mortgage lender.
Mike Jones (Tucson Mortgage Company, LLC): Loan Officer in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
Think of me as your Active Rain resource.  Call any time.


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Jan Evett
The Premier Property Group LLC - Rosemary Beach, FL
Broker Associate, 20 years+ in real estate


I remember that post, powerful images are one of the keys to communicating well.  I think you are doing a great thing here with your new "for newbies" theme.  The AR gods will be adding you to their great list of new hires!  

Mar 27, 2008 09:25 PM #5
Don Rogers
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield - O'Fallon, MO
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes
Mike, As always great information.  Now all I have to do is do it. :)  Thanks for your advice and post.
Mar 27, 2008 10:27 PM #6
Todd and Danielle Millar
Glenn Simon Inc. - Edmonton, AB
Fifteen years of excellence!
Those pictures are incredible! I can't even figure out what that eagle is doing to the fox nor would I lay any bets on who won. 
Mar 27, 2008 10:32 PM #7
Nannette Turner
Keller Williams Lynchburg - Lynchburg, VA
Online Marketing Home Ownership Advocate Specialis
Mike I am very visual.  I just have to see it to understand it.  So when I blog I try to describe the "picture" I see and that is how I try to capture the reader. 
Mar 27, 2008 10:36 PM #8
Adam Waldman
Westcott Group Real Estate Company - Hauppauge, NY
Realtor - Long Island
MIKE - Great point.  I learned quickly that a wall of words, no matter how compelling, will be largely ignored by the AR community.  Once I built up a following, I was able to put out some posts with no images, but it's not something that I recommend to a newbie. 
Mar 27, 2008 11:01 PM #9
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Images are the invitation to read the content.  I have a spectacular collection of images that I have created for use on my Internet presence.  I love them.  Images, pictures, paintings, decorating, design and drawing have always been a part of my life. 

I've used photography to help sell real estate when I used a 33mm. Minolta and had to get the film to the photo shop for development and wait 2 days before I could mail wonderful photos of homes, exterior and interior to relocating home buyers.  They worked but nothing beats the immediacy of the digital cameras. 

As I said the photos of that Eagle and Fox blew me away.  As first I thought the Eagle might be in trouble but that was when I thought the other animal was the mighty Wolf.  Once you corrected me and I could see it was a Fox, I realized it was over for the Fox.

Thanks for bringing these images to the Rain.

Mar 27, 2008 11:36 PM #10
Lissa Uder
RE/MAX Next Generation, LLC - Lebanon, MO
Your Lebanon MO Real Estate Agent
Great point, Mike. When I see a blog that is very lengthy without pics, my mind simply says, "too much to read, not enough time". But when I see one with pictures and a little "air", I feel less overwhelmed.
Mar 27, 2008 11:47 PM #11
Tucson Real Estate Experts Anne McKechnie
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Tucson, AZ
Previews Property Specialist

HI MIke,


Youare so right about images.I have to be infront of something visual when someone is talking to me about a project

Mar 27, 2008 11:59 PM #12
Palm Coast Homes
100 Plus Realty LLC - Palm Coast, FL
Palm Coast/Flagler County Real Estate, The Ross/Co
I enjoy your writing style.  I now take may camera with me eveywhere.  I just got tickets to the Ginn Chamionship golf tournament this weekend and can't wait to shoot a bunch of pictures to document the excitement.  Blogging with out pictures is sort of like cereal without the milk...dry and crunchy :-)
Mar 28, 2008 12:00 AM #13
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Thanks for the encouragement.  I like the cereal without milk image your words create.


Thanks for commenting.  See you soon on your photo-rich blog!


I like your point, especially the words "a little air."


You write the most thoughtful comments! It's a pleasure to read your writing.


There's a great visual image:  "wall of words."  Thanks for coming by to comment.


That's why you're so good at what you do.  Imagination!

Todd & Danielle,

Come back and click on the link at the end of the post.  It will take you to the full picture story.




I really like what I do for a living--lending.  Thanks for the encouragement!


Yours is the most enigmatic comment on the post!


I'm in agreement.  If the fox got away, he won't soon mess with an eagle!


You're welcome.


By the time I got around to answering your question this morning, you already had the answer!  Thanks for being the first to comment, and for being a subscriber.

Mike in Tucson

Mar 28, 2008 12:07 AM #14
Sarah Berger
R.J. Smith Realty/Real Estate Solutions - Ellenville, NY
Mike - Great advice (and incredible photos).  I will have to try to use more images in my Blogs.  This is a learning process and members like yourself are a great resource.  Thanks!
Mar 28, 2008 01:29 AM #15
Donna Yates
BHGRE - Metro Brokers - Blue Ridge, GA
Blue Ridge Mountains
Mike:  I hope a few bloggers see this post.  I have read some great blogs on Active Rain but never any pictures.  The content is really meaningful but you are so right, when there are no pictures and all the eye sees is a page full of words, it is very difficult not to pass up that blog no matter how good it is.  I wonder, if the writer takes so much care in writing great content, why then, do they not include pictures?  Maybe I should drop a gentle hint when I come across those posts.
Mar 28, 2008 01:36 AM #16
Lisa Heindel
Crescent City Living LLC - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Real Estate Broker
I spend a lot of time trying to find the right graphics to add a little punch to my blog and to break up that dreaded "wall of words".  If someone pulls me in with a title and all I see is a page of type, I move on, because it's so difficult to read that way on a laptop screen.  Give me some color, some white space and some pictures and I'm yours!
Mar 28, 2008 01:45 AM #17
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY
Mike, I know you are right and I am working on it.  Blogs with interesting pictures are much more interesting.  I am going to carry my camera with me from now on and capture some interesting and differnet.  Thanks for the idea.
Mar 28, 2008 02:23 AM #18
Sharon Paxson
Arbor Real Estate - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate - Arbor Real Estate
I carry my camera with me most of the time. And if I see something on preview - I will take the photos. Your clients appreciate having photos emailed to them.
Mar 28, 2008 03:04 AM #19
Ross Quintana
Real E Smarter - Spokane, WA
Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966
I have been thinking this for a long time, way back in 2001 when websites were all text, pictures make a big difference. Good post
Mar 28, 2008 03:49 AM #20
Sandy Nelson
Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc. - Olympia, WA
your Olympia area Realtor

I'm so glad the story ended well for the fox. Great way to really get some one's attention and have them on the edge of their seat.


Mar 28, 2008 03:55 AM #21
Susan Davis
Austin, TX
Excellence Advocate

Fantastic article Mike! You are so very talented! Thanks for sharing this wisdom with us.

To your success,


Mar 28, 2008 05:14 AM #22
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


It's not talent.  It's persistence.  Anyone can do this if they decide to do it.  Actually, that goes for all of life.  Thanks for commenting. 


That last photo doesn't look too good for the fox; I'm not sure the story ended will for him.  Thanks for commenting.


They do make a difference, don't they?  Thanks for stopping by to comment.


That's a great point!  You should write a blog post about it.


You're welcome!  Stop by any time.


Color and white space make a post "friendly."  Often, I'll start with a photo and write the post around the story the photo tells.


All of life is a learning process.  I appreciate your comment.

Mike in Tucson

Mar 28, 2008 05:20 AM #23
Lindsay Pendleton
Relocating To Baton Rouge & Surrounding Areas - Baton Rouge, LA
Marketing Agent - Property Management in Baton Rou
I carry my camera with my wherever I go. You never know when you are going to have a KODAK moment! :)
Mar 28, 2008 07:40 AM #24
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