Why I love Photography
A photograph is a fantastic medium for having an opinion.
It is quite intresting that such an intrinsic hobby requires such a public reaction from the masses to be deemed a success. We photographers have many motives which move and shape the way we go about our own image making and photo taking.
In the coming months I have some interesting speeches to make (Photo Live + a few camera clubs), my mind had been wondering about and I was trying to explain why I have such a fond affinity for the still image. This turns out to be a more complex question the more I had thought about it, then I remembered something Steve Jobs once said. It seemed to make things a little clearer about why I was having fun.
When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you’re life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
I quite agree, it was when I was about 17 maybe even 16 that I think I began to notice what Steve was talking about. I had not understood, but looking back it does answer a few questions. All my life I have questioned and quizzed people. I have challenged and poked, pointed and asked why. In many ways, my life these days is about asking questions and finding my own answers. Maybe that is what photography is for me. It is a way that I can learn about life and document it along the way. In a few ways, Steve Jobs explained why I feel different to most people.
I am not the smartest guy, I am not the tallest, or the smallest. I was never the fastest or the funniest Never first but never last. I was however the person who would ask why. Wherever we was, whatever we was doing, I would be the one to say `Why don’t you do this.. or Why are you doing that`. I was and still am forever questioning the world about me to understand why people limit themselves. I never understand people who only want 10% better. I never understand why people limit ideas.
Over the years, I have noted that experts don’t like to be questioned, and I have also learnt that most people who call themselves experts don’t know fuck all. To quote Steve Jobs, “never trust an expert, especially so if they say they are”. It is also very interesting to read about what Mr Jobs things about focus groups… We are taught from a young age, as Mr Jobs says, to just, do your bit and tow the line. I guess, I love photography because there is no line to tow. There is no right or wrong and I can question everything as long as I like. I can deeply dive into the darkest decadences of the world and no-one can judge me. I am the judge of my own photography, I am the only person I need to please when following my own agenda. Photography to me is my way of standing up and building my own world, for me to live in. When I learned how powerful this idea was, Steve was right. I was never the same again.
When working out that you can build your photography into a business, that is where having to really carve your own path comes to play. Being a new version of someone else is just not going to work. Be unique and be of value. These things come from being different and being something other people can not be. To do this… you need to really not listen to what people tell you and listen to your heart after you have questioned everything you need to question. I feel that the world of Photography, be it, fashion, art, commercial, sports or any subject matter. The people who rise to the top are people who have not been lead to the top, but have just gone and stood there.
The world is made up of people just like you, you have a voice, use it, you have an opinion share it. A photograph is a fantastic medium for having an opinion.
In the DKP group I asked people to match an image to the phrase “This is why I love photography”. This is the photo I would of posted. It is a photo of me. I love photography because it made me who I am, everything else is secondary to that fact. There is no right or wrong, or anything one can say to why one photo should win over another, but, life is not fair and there is only one prize. Well done Marek, you are the Winner !!
Just to be clear.. I am not saying that I am the best thing about photography… I am trying to say that for me, the whole world of photography has shaped who I am today, and that I might be so bold to say that it has given me the outlet to be who I am today. I feel it helps me be who I am .
John H’s image is stunningly powerful at explaining the idea of time and space. The comedic value and intelligence is something I particularly like with this complex and serendipitous image. I would of liked it even more if you had of created the image
Paul H’s image is tough, brutal and horrific. Clearly a personal moment and thank you for sharing the image along with your attached story. I agree that the photography helps us record, document and help teach our children and our children’s children about both, the good and bad.
Marek’s image of the horse is maybe the strongest contender for the fact that it produced the strongest reaction in the comments alone. To many people, an image with no voice is a dead image. This image speaks loud and of many different issues.
Martin, the image of the girl in the water is just so simple and joyful. It is so good at reminding me that at the core of life, we need to smile and embrace the love we have.
Lee J. How did I know you was going to post something like this. I love it. I think the quote here is. “people photograph things they don’t want to lose”. Building memories for the future must be so rewarding. For many people, photography about capturing memories. For me, the interesting elements for these images is that in time, they will get more important and even more wonderful.
The image Corey shared with us is wonderful and aided by the story that provided along with the picture. I agree whole heartedly with your own comments. For me, this image reminded me to be more human to all people. To just less and open up. Photography has this way to help us learn vicariously about subjects sometimes never intended by the creator of image, this another reason at the heart of why I love photography. In so many ways, I feel the same from the image that Mr Fessey added to the collection. Photography can have this power to make up stop, look and learn. Sometimes about the strangest, unconnected things from the image itself. Martin demonstrates my last point well with the image shared. Sometime connecting the dots is just pointless, but does not stop you trying. Sometimes we can have clear messages, sometimes complex, sometimes sad and sometimes there is no message.
So the point in this little thing was to have people think about what it is we use our cameras for. Next time you take an image, stop a moment and think.. What is it I am doing ?
This amazing “winner” mug (which I am pretty sure was stolen from someone desk at Bright Publishing.) Is awarded to Marek. The messages are complex and simple in your image. They are direct and blunt yet wrapped up in a dark comic way. For me the startling idea that this horse mostly likely died for money is cold and brutal. The idea that Ladbrokes knew that this image could have been taken and they still thought it is worth the money to have the advert there is cold reminder that many people want us to live in their worlds. Well done, enjoy your winner mug. And yes, I also understand the subtext of such an image winning, which is why it does win. Anyway, the winning is not all that matters. It is the taking part.
>Remembering Steve Jobs words, “everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you” , I love the freedom photography give me to explore who I am.