I think the reason I rely heavily on photos and cloths and imagery is for my own memory's sake. It's much easier for me to remember something I have seen and associate it with a certain time, person, or place, rather than remembering descriptions, or things that I hear. For example, I am much more able to recall an essay I read, than an essay I heard. The more beautiful and interesting the subject is, the more I remember it and more relevance it will have in my life.
That is because I am then able to associate a feeling with it, whether it is a happy time, or a dangerous moment I need to be more casutious of in the future, or the time something important happened in history. When I see something beautiful, it is like my mind is ignited, and the more beautiful things I see, the longer my brain is ignited. That is why I always seek for everyone to be beautiful, because beauty keeps my mind alive, present and interested; it's the only thing my mind craves for optimal functionality.