Professional photographers, of all genres, know the importance of photography. If you’re unsure or trying to understand what has made photography so important, this blog post is for you.
When we think of photography, the idea of taking and processing photos either casually or in a photoshoot comes into our mind. Superficially, photography is rather simple. You point your lens at something, press a button, and take the image.
Photography, at its core, is definitely more than that.
A painter possesses a canvas on which they illustrate; likewise, a photographer has a ‘frame,’ and they can put anything they want in that frame. How is an eye behind the viewfinder supposed to differentiate itself among this crowd, especially in the digital world of today, where everyone holds a lens? Is it the quality of the camera or the talent of the photographer? Does it matter who even holds the camera?
If I were sitting on my couch holding a photo album or a magazine 2 or 3 decades ago rather than holding my phone or laptop with the accessibility of the internet, I would’ve said that talent and determination are everything you can count upon. But in this era of globalization and hypermodernity, you need them both rudiments, the camera, and the art of expression because the world today is all about creative innovation.
Here are few points jotted down to bring to the forefront the importance of photography in life. But before you read on make sure to check out awesome picture trivia quiz!
Every photo you see tells a story.
Imagine someone telling you a story in 1/60th of a split second? I believe a photograph, a still image, holds extraordinary power. It can brand itself into the back of your brain, allowing you to visually distill a scene in mere seconds. Every powerful photograph is it’s own universe and different dimension. You see a picture, a persuasive portrait of a malnourished child. Instantly, you fear for the child, you want to know what has led to this horror, and you start thinking of how it arrived at this point. A single click can unfold the untold story.
That’s why they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Your camera can be your therapist.
In this stretch of time, where bodies are in a constant fixture to compete for rapacious worldly things meanwhile minds and soul are aching for consolation and solace, we find ourselves worn out of this never-ending mundane of today, tomorrow and yesterday. We all need some activity to elude daily mayhem. Something unworldly and palpable. Something therapeutic and a harbinger of salvation.
Some people journal, easing their mind and keeping record of themselves and their connection to the world around them. For more visual people, the act of creating art through the lens of a camera can be a relief. Creativity and art are some of the only escapes some have to a nihilistic existence, and as such, what you put in the frame of the camera, reflects the truth of what is within yourself.
Photography is an Art.
Art is an expression of creativity and imagination of a human. Humans have the primordial hunger to create art, art that tells expression, and art that allows us to siphon from within unto the world. The presentation of visual story through your camera is the art that you create because it is what you push yourself to create.
Photographers paint the world with their cameras, painting shadows and lights, adjusting the temperature and tints of their images, using their imagination to make their images tangible and expressive for those that may view them. As technological advancements occur, photographers are given the ability to more and more be unrestricted by their tools, and thus, focus purely on artistic expression.
Photographs preserve memories.
A photograph is a depiction of something with meaning. One photo is powerful enough to remind you of an event or an occasion. Memories that were lost resurface. You see a photograph, and it brings you back to the time when it was captured, and something remains vivid in your memory. And memory is something beautiful. So beautiful, like a phoenix, free, flying in the vast cosmos of heaven, which is just a thought away, a call away, a glimpse away. You see a picture, and you can relive your own moment in that picture, or taking that picture.
Imagine a picture you are looking at is from the previous trip you took. By just looking at the picture, you can feel every ins and outs of that trip. How cold the weather was and how breathtaking the view from the hotel room was. Photography allows you to preserve your special memories and let you relive the brief moments of emotion that you had in that time.
Photography can be a great way to appreciate nature.
There is a symmetry and beauty to the world, in all the natural that we have been blessed with. From the small streams to the vast milky way and the space that lies outside our view, from the middle of the ocean to the snowcapped peaks. It’s all mesmerizingly beautiful, and the camera allows us to take a moment to smell those roses.
Look closer from the viewfinder, adjust your lens, put that landscape in the frame, take a deep breath, and capture it. Let it be a marvel to explain the worth of nature and life. Let it be a moment you remember.
Photographs can help you appreciate nature photography, and you can make it a part of your memory by making it a part of your gallery.
Photography can be your way to meet people.
The synergetic and collaborative nature of photography can be a way to meet people as well. You can collaborate with other photographers and invite them along to the landscape photo shoots. You can learn more about photography from them, you can make friends, and you can make people feel special by clicking their portraits.
Ryan Pfluger, who is famous for his portraits said, “All I knew was that I did not want anyone that came into my life to ever feel that they are not seen. And then, I picked up a camera.” And through portraits and photography, he was able to revive his relationship with his father.
Thus, photography can turn out to be an excellent way to build rapport and understanding with others. The friendships you make with those that you photograph can last forever.
Photography is an expression.
In today’s world, you have a previously unimaginable amount of platforms to express what is inside you. You can practice different forms of art, you can paint, you can speak, you can write, and you can photograph. You can snap images of the objects you want the world to see, and you can see the essence of your personality seeping into the piece of your art that you have created. As your creative style develops, you impose your mark on every image you take. Photography is a whole language of expression.
The colors and tints you choose, the way you adjust and edit, the way you play with shadows and light, and the composition of your photograph represents your language of expressions and emotions. You don’t need to put your words in a queue to express who you are, for your images express you.
Photographs can be influential and impactful.
A single powerful photograph can rise to the level of such an impact that you can’t even imagine. Check out some of the most iconic photo shoots ever here.
And here is a specific, striking example: A photograph of a Somalian woman in a wheel barrel was taken by a photojournalist`, James Nachtwey, in the 1980s. The woman was wheeled to the feeding center because she was too weak to walk. This picture, in addition to many other pictures that Nachtwey made on his trip, was published in the New York Times magazine. Upon publication, it led to a relief effort that saved over 1,500,000 million lives.
Photographs can create change. Through photography, you can highlight social issues and stigmas, you can force discussion, you can capture the evil and good of the world and bring it to light, allowing society to see what they often are ignorant of.
Photography has become a source of communication.
In the days of yore, let’s say a decade ago or two, the only source of contact and sharing was the telephone or text messages. With the enormous development in media and technology, we got our hands on better cell phones with better cameras and better social media apps. Now, we can share our photography with those across the world. Your moments of life, love, and wonder are all documented so that those you care about that cannot be with you can see them. Photographs work across barriers of communication, truly allowing you to express yourself to others.
Photography is a healthy hobby or profession.
Photography is a great way to introduce oneself to art. When it comes to technical precision, it is one of the art forms that requires the least amount of practice to become a novice, although like other art forms, infinite practice for perfection. When elements of creativity come in, any amount of time and work and lead to different images that capture different wonders.
Be it as a professional or amateur, becoming a photographer is a great way to do something perpendicular to the rest of life. Art allows you so much catharsis relative to other works, that the time and effort you put in can be a true blessing in life.
It makes you look at the world with a different eye.
When you capture the world with the lens you hold in your hands, it tends to make you notice your surroundings more minutely and diversely. You stay in the moment and live it impeccably. You become more observant of the little details. You appreciate the beautiful skies, the vibrant flowers, shadows, lights, greenery all around, and even much more. You start looking around you as you walk, thinking about what photos you would take, even if your camera is not by your side.
You tend to notice the small gestures and expression which others miss. You know how beautiful it is to smile. You see the eyes, the scars, and words left unsaid. When you look through the artistic eye whose home is behind the viewfinder, the world appears different.
Photography motivates you to explore.
A photographer is always on a quest to find their next subject, their next project, their next masterpiece. A photographer does not look at a scene because it is pretty but, rather, makes a scene visually appealing because it has meaning. A powerful photograph has such an impact that you feel the image, be it either through sensation or emotion. A photographer wants to see more, feel more, be more, because only then, can their art do the same.
Check out some photo shoot ideas here!
To its façade, photography might seem a complicated thing. You need to have the proper equipment, better editing, better platforms to present, and much more. But it has two aspects, a technical one and a creative one. The picture which is captured by your camera is nothing but how the essence of your talent seeps into the photograph you have taken, which is everything. Your equipment will not alleviate the burden of practice, which is where a true photographer shows their work.
When it comes to photography, talent, and having that unique eye for detail matters, but it’s not everything. Only through practice, and more practice, can you channel your talent into something worthwhile. So fire up your gear, have faith in your ability, start practicing, and never look back!
Featured image: https://unsplash.com/photos/nZ2ckk2-FNA
Check out this great YouTube video on the importance of photography: