The Future of Photography is Curation

Dear friend,

What is the future of photography? My opinion: image-selection, editing (choosing your best pictures), and curating your portfolio of your best pictures you care about.

Which of your (few) photos are your best?

This is my rationale:

First of all, all of our technology for modern photography is phenomenal. We got great digital cameras, and almost everything we own is a camera. We got iPhone cameras, we got iPad cameras, we got “stand-alone” digital cameras, we got film cameras — we even got cameras on our cars and door-bells!

I don’t know about you, but one of the biggest challenges I have in photography is choosing my best work in my sea of images. It is like finding that one golden needle in a haystack of pictures.

Finding the signal in the noise

We are drowning in a digital sea of noise; what we are seeking is “signal”. Signal is the tiny percentage of importance in a sea of irrelevance.

For example, let’s say I have 100,000 pictures on my laptop. 99,999 of those pictures are just “noise” — pictures that aren’t really that meaningful to me. What I am seeking is “signal” — the 1 picture that I think is great art.

Lots of great pictures already exist!

Contrary to popular belief, I believe that we ALREADY have MANY MANY MANY great pictures on the internet!

And to be honest, you probably already have lots of good pictures you’ve shot — but perhaps you have too many other random photos drowning it out. Or your viewer have a difficult time finding your best pictures.

Dynamic portfolio

I propose this concept of a ‘dynamic portfolio’ — a portfolio that you can change, modify, and edit “in real time”. This means a portfolio that is constantly changing in a state of flux — a portfolio that is never really “done”. I channel my inner-Heraclitus (all is flow).

This means that for your portfolio, never seek a “perfect” or “final” portfolio. As your photographic life continues, you will continue to improve as a photographer, and your aesthetic style and taste will change. This means, as the years go on — take away certain pictures from your portfolio, and add new pictures to your porfolio!

Change the order and sequence in which you present your work. And also change up the different series and projects you decide to show on your website (I believe the best way to share your pictures is on your own website portfolio).

Kill your babies

Be brutal. Kill your babies. Show your best work; don’t let your weaker photos taint your stronger photos.

Less is more.

When in doubt, show fewer photos.

Subtract the superfluous.

If you feel a picture isn’t strong; it is probably weak. Cull and cut away your weak pictures.

Curation = caring

To ‘curate‘ your photos means to show the pictures you care about.

So friend — which pictures do you truly care for? Only show those!