How do I make a two column minisection in my latex document where the left hand column would be an image and the right hand column would be some accompanying text?

The mulitcol package will do the trick for you.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\usepackage{multicol}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\parskip 1ex
\begin{document}

\parindent0em

\lipsum[4]

\begin{multicols}{2}[\columnsep2em] 
\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{example-image}%
\columnbreak

Here is the short text that accompanies my figure.
\end{multicols}

\lipsum[4]

\end{document}

This is shown without horizontal gaps, but they would be easy enough to insert.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\parskip 1ex
\begin{document}

\lipsum[4]

\noindent
\includegraphics[width=.5\textwidth]{example-image}%
\parbox[b]{.5\textwidth}{Here is the short text that accompanies my
figure.}

\lipsum[4]

\noindent
\includegraphics[width=.5\textwidth]{example-image}%
\parbox[b]{.5\textwidth}{
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
Here is the long text that accompanies my figure.
}

\end{document}

enter image description here

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