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This story claims that scientists have discovered what exactly makes a photograph memorable.

This is funny to me, because it is completely obvious to anyone who is a trained marketing professional, and it applies to lots more than just photographs.  As a trained marketer, I believe memorability boils down to one thing: people only have space in their brains for unique things. Once they see, hear, or learn something unique, their brain will never have room to replace that thing with something else that is exactly the same.  There would be no point.

They don’t need to remember two photographs of sunsets, if both are similarly beautiful. Once they have seen a photograph of a beautiful sunset, they will only remember another photograph of a sunset if something remarkable and jarring is happening in the next beautiful sunset photograph, which would make the sunset a secondary element anyway.

And since there are so many photographs of beautiful sunsets out there that people have already seen, you’re wasting your time trying to perfect a new one.  No one will remember it.  You need to be creating new things, new images, that no one has seen or considered, but that are interesting, beautiful and jarring.  There is space in everyone’s brain to remember something like that, and anything else is hopeless.


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