We live in a world of images. Whether it’s a website, smart phone, magazine, social media site or countless other media – pictures are the theoretical walls in our everyday life. And, like the literal walls in our life, our brains like to look and appreciate great imagery.

The human brain can process an image faster than the blink of an eye (13 milliseconds). Whether or not that person thinks about the image after that initial thought isn’t just up to her or him, however. Professional images can speak volumes, so to say. Vibrant, graceful images of a bed or balcony can turn a simple hotel room into a paradise waiting to be booked. A deep, cool image of a relaxing day at the spa or on a beach can quickly become motivation for a vacation (assuming, of course, that travel is safe).

Aspirational is certainly the travel brand buzzword, and nothing resonates and motivates stronger than aspirational photography and videography. That emotional connection is what brands seek to drive successful marketing campaigns. Put simply and with pun intended: picture yourself here.

And while perfect composition is vital, what’s in the image is just as important — because each image has the power to tell a story. Staging is just as important as lighting — and going one step further, the right talent (with the right director) vital to further defining the story, its message and its targets. Plus, the modern vacationer wants to know what there is to do both on and off property. Sharing well photographed images of hyperlocal activities, sights and events that are walking distance or a short drive from the resort can be a goldmine. These images make for great social media and blog opportunities, and can be used in timely email marketing campaigns and other brand communications.

Ongoing professional image capture is also a great way to sustain your brand’s momentum. Sharing images on social media not only attracts new travelers, but ones who’ve already been there and done that as well. Previous visitors will comment, like and share their experiences with virtually everyone who clicks on the image. And digital word of mouth is one of fastest growing forms of advertising, with 68% of consumers trusting the online opinions of other consumers versus just an 11% trust from the brand (Nielsen).

Finally, a word or three about stock. Your destination, resort, spa, restaurant or other travel brand is uniquely unique — and demands original photography. Yes, it’s costlier than stock, but it’s truly you and not an image that could wind up on a competitor’s website.

A picture speaks a thousand words, so why not use those thousand words to your advantage? Whether it’s a room, a hot tub or something unique to your location, highest quality images can turn a thought into a memory when they book.