Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What Is The Purpose of Your Photography?

Photography Is A Drug - Stallion Springs, California
Why do you photograph? What's the meaning of your photographic pursuit? Why do you carry around a camera? What are you trying to accomplish? What is your photographic purpose?

I've asked myself these questions many times. I try to wrap my head around these questions and articulate an answer. It's not an easy task.

There are so many different reasons why one photographs. The purpose of one's photographic ventures can be unlimited in variance. Each person will have their own list. Here are some of my reasons:
  • A deep down desire to express creativity, and photography is my preferred method to do so.
  • Photography is fun--I receive enjoyment from it.
  • It's a stress relief (although sometimes it's also a cause of stress).
  • To share the beauty that I find in the world with others.
  • To document the human condition.
  • To shed light on things that others might not otherwise notice.
  • To document my family.
  • Photography is an excuse to visit places that I might not otherwise experience.
  • To add something positive to society.
  • I'm good at it.
  • I want to be remembered for something.
  • Money (who doesn't want to financially gain from their photography?).
You might have similar reasons why you photograph. Or perhaps your list is completely different. Maybe you've never really considered why you carry around a camera.

It's important to know why you photograph. It's important to have a photographic purpose. It will give you direction. It will keep you moving forward through difficult times.

You need direction in your photography because your photographs will otherwise be disjointed. The fact that you don't have a photographic purpose will come through in your images. Having direction will challenge you to improve your craft with refined vision.

Difficult times will come. Sometimes you're not motivated. People will tell you that you are wasting your time. Maybe all your gear gets stollen and you ask yourself if you should just give up (this happened to me). If you have purpose it's much easier to pull your bootstraps up and continue on despite the difficulty and naysayers.

My recommendation is for you to sit down and consider the question of why you do this whole photography thing. Come up with some reasons. Try to articulate an answer. Write it down.

Have some direction. If you don't know where you are headed you will never arrive at your destination. Press forward, even when it seems like things are stacked against you. Have a purpose to your photography.

No comments:

Post a Comment