A challenge post on why I love photography and choose to write about it:
- Photography is an art of memory keeping
Many times we snap pictures to document something beautiful, but we don’t realize that it is memories we are making. Tangible memories that can be revisited and relived anytime we pick up that photo (hopefully we’ve printed the digitals because prints, let’s face it, are just sooo much better). Memories of loved ones, times spent with friends, memories of trips whose details are long forgotten. Photography keeps these safe for us in the physical space of something that is largely conceptual.
- Photography’s value grows with time
Going along with the previous point, think about all those times you’ve looked at photos from your childhood and how much more valuable they are to you now than they were when they were first taken. I still can’t believe how much more youthful I looked in college than I do now, 10 years later…but of course, that is not the best exampled of this J However, looking at my mother holding my one year old self in the old, tiny apartment we first moved to in then Communist Poland really brings out the nostalgic feelings in me like no other.
- Photography teaches us how to see differently
Two people may be looking at exactly the same scene and yet photograph it very differently. So many times I was amazed at how my fellow photographer who was standing right next to me made a photo of the exact same scene I was looking and yet the results were markedly different and oftentimes better than mine.
- Photography makes you get off the couch and go explore the world around you
It doesn’t have to be a long trip to a faraway land. It can be a simple excursion to a nearby town or just a short walk to your neighboring park that you always pass on your way to work, but never actually step a foot in (I’m guilty as charged of this). Yes, the photo opportunities are there! You just need to get off your butt and go find them.
- Photography teaches you patience
It forces you to arrive early on scene and wait for just the right light, the right cloud configuration or perhaps for that right gesture from your human subject. Many a times I scheduled my regular day activities around the time I would be photographing and then waited patiently for the conditions to align with my original vision.
- Photography has the power to change the world
It can do this through exposure, through education, through empowerment. There are so many inspiring photography projects going on in the world right now that have proven to bring about positive change both for those involved directly with the project and the recipients of the final product. For example, many subjects of Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York moved the audience enough that monetary donations exceeded initial goals of fundraising. Many abandoned pittbulls have been adopted thanks to Sophie Gamand’s touching portraits of these shelter animals. There are many more examples of photography making such positive impacts in this world and all of them are incredibly inspiring. Photography is not just about the shoot and go. When a meaningful project is put into place, taking photos brings on a whole new meaning.
I really believe in photography’s power and magic in our everyday lives and that, perhaps and most of all, is why I choose to write about it, even though I am not a world famous photographer and have never really gone to photography school. But my love for it keeps me up at nights and gets me out of bed in the morning. So I might as well blog about it and share it with you my fellow photo-lovers.