As photographers, we are life-affirmers. Whenever we decide to click the shutter and make a photo, we are saying:
Life is beautiful, this photograph is proof!
Life is good.
It is obvious that there is a lot of pain and suffering in the world. Yet, there is still so much joy, beauty, and happiness in the world. As photographers, we should be life-affirmers, which means that we affirm life; we state that life is worth living, and great!
There is a school of philosophy called nihilism which means “nothingness”. People who have this viewpoint essentially wake up every morning and say,
“What’s the point of living? There’s no meaning being alive. Thus, it wouldn’t matter whether I was alive or dead.”
This is the ultimate pessimist life philosophy, that denies life, that is anti-life affirming.
To be honest, people who get subjects under nihilist thoughts aren’t bad or ungrateful individuals. I see a lot of non-religious/non-spiritual intelligent people fall victim to nihilism, because they cannot see empirical proof of a greater being/God, and thus they feel like their actions in life have no consequence.
How to find purpose in your photography and life
To me, the cure of nihilism is this:
You can dictate your own purpose, direction, and meaning in life.
In other words,
“There are no rules in life! Everything is permitted. Thus, choose your own path and direction in life, and live a life which is fulfilling to you.”
The camera as a tool to show your joy and appreciation in life
To me, the best purpose of photography is using the camera as a tool of appreciation. The camera is a tool which helps us express joy, beauty, and happiness of living.
For example, whenever I make photos of Cindy, I am saying:
I am so grateful to have Cindy in my life. I am going to document our life together, our joys together, to share this joy with others, to also bring them joy, or to inspire them to also document their loved ones.
When I photograph strangers on the streets (street photography), I am saying:
I am so grateful to be alive and a part of society, with all of these diverse people, cultures, and ways of living. I’m going to document different people, to show this gratitude of being alive and a part of humanity.
Whenever I photograph food, nature, or coffee, I am saying:
I am so grateful that nature provides me with food, which keeps me alive. I’m also so grateful for all the hands that prepared this food, and I’m also grateful for the awesomeness of coffee that inspires and motivates me to do creative work.
Question: When you make photos, what are you affirming or showing gratitude for in life?
Never stop living,
How to find more joy in your life with photography:
- How to Express Yourself Through Photography
- Street Photography as Mental Therapy
- The Cheerful Photographer
- How to Overcome Disappointment in Our Photography
- How to Find More Meaning in Your Life With Photography
- Photo Therapy
- Photography Therapy
- 5 Photography Therapy Assignments
- Why Photography is the Ultimate Form of Self-Therapy
- How to Use Photography as Self-Therapy
- Street Photography is Self-Therapy
- How to Conquer Depression With Photography
- 3 PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS FOR STREET PHOTOGRAPHY