Being positive is good for health and communications

It’s been a while since I’ve flipped though my subscription of Communication Arts – I finally got through the 2013 Photography Annual and found a bit of inspiration, particularly drawn to photos related to health. Photos are a great way to share our emotions, relationships and connections with people and things. And there’s no more personal connection than to personal health.


A campaign pointing out the health risks caused by smoking in cars. Headline: Don’t ignore their wishes / Alex Telfer

What is it about the world of media that uses negative imagery to try to catch people’s attention? There’s that saying about news: it’s not “Dog bites man”, but rather “Man bites dog” that will get the headlines. Yet, a lot has changed when it comes to this kind of view on news, and more broadly communication. With the ever-growing access to information and communication channels, communication professionals might think about placing less emphasis on the negative side of issues – especially if we want people to take action and do something. For example, researchers in 2007 found that the more students were exposed to anti-smoking messages, the more inclined they were to smoke. Results from the study suggest that campaigns don’t work by convincing individuals to avoid tobacco, but rather by helping change the social norms surrounding smoking. This means positivity works better than negativity, especially in a time where positive messages are more likely to spread and engage people, as shown by this study “Upbeat Content Best Bet for Anti-tobacco Messaging” or this report by the New York Times “Good News Beats Bad on Social Networks“.

These photos from CA’s photography annual shows that communication can have an impact when it strikes a cord between something visual, emotional, and making a positive connection.


Assignment to illustrate a feature story, “Water for All” about the state of fresh water health and policies, or lack there of, governing right of capture rules / Woody Welch


“Senior Moments.” – for these senior Olympians, age is just a number, and competition is a lifelong passion / Gregg Segal


Trade advertising campaign to healthcare professionals for a new cancer drug. Portraits capture honest moments of joy as patients receive the good news / Peter Beavis

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