As photographers, we are image-makers — and we make images via photographs. But what is the value of a photograph– for ourselves, and for society in general?
How photography helps me (personally):
1. Images inspire me:
Images spark my creativity, my imagination, and make life worth living! A world with beautiful images excites me. I wonder to myself, ‘What other beautiful images out there exist, which I can discover, and create?’
Thus– the value of images is twofold:
- The excitement I have in life to discover new images
- The excitement I have in life to CREATE new images
But to only consume images, without creating images is undesirable.
We must BOTH consume images, and CREATE images. Kind of like life,
We must consume resources, but we also must produce resources!
2. Photography as personal memory-augmentation
I am forgetful. I often photograph things because I hope down the line, I might re-visit these photographs, to re-live the joy I experienced.
For example, I travel a lot, have had many epic experiences in life, yet I easily forget about them. Looking at my old photographs is awesome, because I am able to re-live these experiences, find gratitude in my personal growth, while also striving to experience even MORE epic adventures.
In Ancient Greek times, memory was linked with intelligence and wisdom. Perhaps if photography can help us remember better, photography can make us wiser in life?
3. Photography as an artistic outlet
Photography is one of the best ways to make art.
I believe we all have an impulse to create art. If we do not have an outlet for creating art, we suffer some sort of mental ills.
For example, imagine your body as a pressure cooker. If you have all this creative steam within you, but you don’t let it out of you– won’t you explode (and die?)
You need to release your creative valve. By making photographs, you exercise your artistic muscles.
Perhaps the impulse to create art is also a biological need of ours?
The value of images from a societal perspective is this:
You can create images which inspire, awe, and motivate people.
For example, let us say you make a really great photograph. Imagine someone looking at your photograph and thinking to themselves:
Wow that is such an incredible photograph! I desire to one day create an image as epic as that.
Thus, your photograph has motivated another human being (societal +1).
If your photographs can inspire others, your photographs serve a very important social purpose.
To wrap up, here are some basic ideas:
- Making photographs both helps ourselves and society.
- We need to have a balance between finding inspiration from external images, while also creating our own images.
- If we do not have an artistic outlet, we suffer mental ills. Thus, making art is essential for your life.
- It is essential for us to share our artwork with others, because there is a possibility that our artwork can inspire and motivate others. If we have a light, we shouldn’t hide it under a bushel (Jesus), we must share our light with others!
- Photography helps you remember: Make photographs both to create art, as well as personal memory-recollection. Photography helps us find more gratitude, beauty, and joy in our everyday lives.
- Reminder: Photography is art. Would a life without photographs or art be a life worth living?
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