The Why to Photograph
„You know when it’s time to make a photograph, when the object acknowledges your presence.“
Why do I photograph?
This is a fundamental question. Have you ever thought about this?
Fortunately, I came across Daniel Gregory’s course “Visual Literacy”. Daniel is the host of the podcast The Perceptive Photographer and a photographic educator. In his course he tries to inspire thoughts about the “why of photography”.
Why do I photograph? Simply spoken: Because I enjoy. As emphasised in my lost blog post, when I am in the field, I’ll try to immerse myself into nature and I’ll try to see the world for what it is. My primary motivation is to awake these moments. When I am very present, sometimes an intention arises to express this motivation. This then is the starting point for creating a photograph that expresses my inner state, my motivation and my choices. Only when I am present, the object “acknowledges” me (and becomes the subject itself that signals me to make the photograph).
Daniel Gregory asks an important question: „How can we create work that allows us to be expressive of who we are“? One could potentially ask if we are capable to create work that is not expressive of who we are?
What is potentially unique in everyone’s photography is neither a tool nor a technique, it is about the „self“. Primarily, I therefore want to follow „myself“ and not others. I have realized that my path goes inside, not outside.
A fascinating idea of photographs is that they enable us to become time travellers. Through capturing photographs, we manipulate our understanding of time. The way we frame, we emphasize light, we angle and compose, we edit and interpret a scene we construct a closeness to individuals, locations, or moods that could otherwise only been achieved by long distance travelling to places. Therefore, photographs are meaningful to us. That’s why I make photographs.
Why do you make photographs?