In-case you forgot, photographers are artists.
I was chatting with my buddy Henrique, and he told me his prediction of the future of photography:
Memory documentation, and art-creation.
I like the idea.
1. Memory documentation
When we use our phone cameras, generally we are using ‘memory documentation’. For example, we take pictures of things we want to remember– receipts, selfies with family (memory documentation of nice memories), or our parking spot.
But with products now like Google Clip (a little paper clip camera you can attach to your front shirt), why use our cameras to document memories?
Also, there are arguments that by photographing things, we ‘outsource’ our memory to a device. Thus, by taking pictures of stuff you want to remember, you’re actually less likely to remember it.
For example, my reliance on Google Maps GPS for driving directions has eliminated all of my personal faculties of memorizing driving directions.
Similarly with the phone camera– perhaps we are losing our faculty of memorizing things in our mind.
2. Art creation
This is where I think photography is valuable– the ability to create art.
Thus, recognize that your camera is a paint-brush. Your camera is your tool to paint your own reality. To create visual art which you personally find beautiful.
I believe it is art which makes us human. Only humans can create original art. Only humans can innovate.
When I say ‘art’ — I say it in a very general way. Joseph Beuys once said something like:
Even peeling a potato can be a work of art, as long as you do it purposefully.
So for you– anything can be art. Oratory, dance, theater, acting, painting, drawing, photographing, sketching, etc.
I believe in today’s world of comfort and convenience, the best use of our human metabolism is to create art. We don’t really need much money to fulfill our biological needs (food, water, prevention of freezing to death). So what should we do with the rest of our energy, focus, time, and metabolic power? Make art!
Make art. Treat your photography seriously, but have fun with it!
Don’t down-play yourself as a photographer/visual-artist. What you’re doing is important, meaningful, and purposeful.
Never stop shooting!