Why are you taking pictures? - Part II
"I want to communicate" photographers
Throughout all our years of traveling and teaching photography workshops, we have met a unique type of photographers. They are introverts who cannot find the words to articulate their ideas. Some of them do not want to talk. Photography has become a means for them to express their suffering, their desires, and their malaise.
Photography has become a way for them to communicate. Their photos are not necessarily very interesting. They merely express a message that the authors cannot express in any other way. Again, these photos establish a relationship with the world through a mode of communication based on images.
"World view" photographers
We also belong to this community of photographers who want to show others their world view. We always try to show how we see nature through our photos.
We always ask existential questions about our place in the world and why we are here. Photography is a way for us to answer some of these questions. It is the only way we have found to express our understanding of the world.
For us, photography is a way to establish a relationship with the world around us. We see it as a way to show how we feel. We chose to do this by means of a contemplative interpretation of nature through artistic photography, because it suits us best.
Our vision of the world did not suddenly come to us one day as we were jumping out of bed. It took years to learn what we liked and what we wanted to do. It was a real challenge which took serious introspection. We have tried many paths, from creating photography reports, to writing technical books, to stock photography. We have never been totally satisfied with what we achieved.
But we certainly do not regret anything because today, although we are professional photographers, we find fulfillment and joy in our work.
Every day is a new challenge. We are always worried that we will not be able to transmit our values and messages. Our journey will never end, because expectations are endless. But now we have chosen a road.
“World view" photographers often work on long projects, which are sometimes completely uninteresting because they become too intellectualized. But these projects are always based on a process of reflection and research. Nothing is left to chance.
The techniques used to create the photo are not important
In our ranking of different types of photographers, we never talk about technique, because, for us, technique is of secondary importance. Technique does not explain why the author is taking pictures. Their photographs can be well or poorly composed, well or poorly framed, sharp or blurred, in color or black and white. The depth of field can be well or poorly managed. None of this answers the essential question of why a person is taking pictures.
The aesthetic aspect of a picture is much more important than anything else, including technique. Technique is just a way to refine the aesthetics of a photo. Some photographers choose to build their scenes by carefully placing the components of the photo. Others compose their pictures by adding elements with software. There are many other techniques that people use to create pictures.
But, for us, the technical aspect of the photo is not essential. The essential thing is the establishment of a relationship with the world. There is a fine line between these two things. It is hard to see, but crucial. We all have something to say, whether it is interesting or not.
Photographs always tell our truth
When a scene or a place is photographed, it freezes a moment in time. The picture creates a relationship with the world. But this relationship reflects the author’s point of view. He has made the choice of the frame and composition. Some details have been omitted. A photograph only shows the photographer’s perspective. If another photographer was present at the same place, it would be a safe bet that their pictures would be different. The two photographers would have different truths. Taking pictures is not lying, although we often hear that it is. It is simply telling our truth.
Taking pictures is not always pleasant
We often hear about how people enjoy realizing their photos. However, photography is not always pleasant. For example, the "testifying" photographers often take pictures of terrible things, like scenes of war or violence, because they must report facts.
"Communicating" photographers are often somewhere on the autism spectrum. Photographs are a way for them to express their inner struggles and convey messages which they cannot get across in any other way.
We always take pleasure in taking pictures because we always look at the wonders of nature. We are very optimistic and always happy. We always see the bright side of things. Creating a photo is a joyous act for us even though it is not always easy.
Taking pictures has become as commonplace as eating. Everyone has his own reasons for taking pictures: some do it as a business, some to create works of art, some to communicate, and some to share their experiences. Our motivations are as different as our reasons for living.
However, we are certain of one thing: people take pictures as a way to create a relationship with the world around them.
Photography has become a tool to communicate.