Digital marketing experts have been advising clients to integrate video into their digital strategy for quite a while now. I’m not sure when the switch happened in our collective psyche where we decided that video was more engaging than text, but more and more it seems that everything online is leading to the video realm.

I suppose the same argument has been around in one variation or another forever – before arguing the benefits of video vs. still images, we were arguing about books vs. television.

I’m not sure if I’m an old soul or what, but I have personally always preferred text and images to video. Perhaps I have a short attention span and I read much faster than the words can be narrated on screen, but I’m known to “x” out on any page that doesn’t at least have a couple of bullet points of text (not call outs, but explanatory text). I’m just not a fan of video in lieu of text.

But I seem to be a part of a very small minority. My preferences aside, video is the medium of choice nowadays and data shows that utilizing video leads to better engagement among your audience.

Even Humans of New York is jumping onto the video bandwagon. The massively popular photography blog/social media powerhouse released its very first video a few days ago. Following the theme of illustrating the diverse (yet universal!) human experience of people living in the Big Apple, the video featured a centenarian named Shirley who chronicled her life with her late husband, Moe.

Here’s the thing – Shirley actually was the subject of a Humans of New York portrait last year. I saw it when it was first published, and I thought it was evocative – I didn’t find the video to be quite as evocative.

Is it just me?

I’d like to perform a little experiment if I may – watch the video below.

All done?

Now compare the video to Shirley’s portrait.

Which one capture’s Shirley’s essence the best?

Let me know your answer in the comments below.