An Open Letter Of Sorts
If you are a photographer, you have probably been asked a series of questions, like "Why do you take pictures?" and "What do you like about photography?".
Recently, my friend asked me a series of questions like the ones I mentioned. I got a little flustered, and the answers I had in my head suddenly disappeared before I could get them out. I know that I should be prepared for these kinds of questions because it's a part of being a photographer.
Photography is something that gives me purpose. When I am envisioning a photo-shoot or photo concept, it consumes me. When I am taking the pictures, and doing what I can to get the shot I want, it consumes me. When I am sitting in my room for hours, editing the batch of images I took, it consumes me.
Photography helps me stay thirsty for creativity. Very often, I feel overwhelmed with a need to create something beautiful and breathtaking and profound. I want to create images that I am proud of, and that I never get tired of looking at. That means I'll have to improve, grow, and learn. Without growth, I'm stuck in the same place, and heading nowhere.
I've discovered that I absolutely love photographing people. Portraits are my favorite things to shoot. People are so interesting to me. There are hundreds of stories and experiences that have shaped who they are and how they see the world. They have quirks, and endearing personality traits. And I think that they are 100% worth photographing.
One image can have a profound impact on it's audience. Whether it's feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, or confusion, it doesn't have to speak to evoke emotion. Images speak for themselves, with a demanding shout, or a soft whisper. They speak with laughter, and smiles so wide that they go ear to ear. They speak with youthful teenagers exploring a new city, or a couple kissing in the midst of chaos. They capture your attention, with a mother who is dying of cancer, or the devastating effects of war that are forced onto young children. Images are very, very, powerful. And I have an amazing amount of respect for photographers who devote their lives to their craft.
The reason I am taking pictures, and the reason I love photography, is a grand combination of all of these things. I have to give props to my friend for asking me those questions, because I think I needed it.
If you are reading this, and you want to pursue photography, I urge you to work your butt off, and put all the blood and sweat that you can manage into your work. Eventually, it will all pay off, and you will think about why you love what you do every day, because it will be there as a constant reminder that fills your heart with emotions only you can describe.
Art is such an amazing thing. Use your art to express yourself. Use your art to show what it's like to be human. Use your art to cheer people up, or use it to cheer yourself up. Use your art to connect with amazing people. And don't forget to learn as much as you can in the process.