First Principles in Photography

What is the first reason *why* we make photos?

1. The joy of the visual in embodied reality

Firstly there seems to be an intuitive love we have in capturing the visually embodied world around us. I know for myself, I love the visual stimulation I get from seeing new places, experiencing new spaces, seeing and witnessing new people and things.

2. The love and interest in the social

Another — we love being around other people and human beings. There is nothing more interesting to us humans than other human beings. If photography wasn’t a social endeavor (in regards to being out in public, around other humans, or to share photos with other humans, I don’t think we would pursue photography).

3. Photography as magical

To take photography back to first principles, I’m always curious:

How would a child photograph if they weren’t brainwashed about all this nonsense of social media, getting likes, followers, etc?

I can say first hand witnessing children photograph (like my 2 year old nephew Benjamin who can’t even speak, but can run around and shoot photos)— it seems to photograph is like another form of social communication or interacting or engaging with the world. For example when he runs around with my Ricoh and photographs the adults around him, the adults *react* and *respond* to him — they laugh, pose, or smile for Benjamin.

Even for myself — I think much about when I got my first digital camera and how magical I thought it was.

Some photos shot by my 4 year old Niece Amelia, on my RICOH GR III:

Another interesting thought:

  1. Amelia seems to only know you can shoot photos horizontally (not vertically).
  2. Amelia doesn’t care for sharpness or clarity in photos.
  3. She sometimes likes to look at the photos she reviews in the LCD screen, and sometimes doesn’t. She also doesn’t care to import the photos to a computer and also doesn’t care to show her photos with *everyone*.
  4. Amelia seems to enjoy the *ACT* of photographing more than viewing the photos themselves.
  5. Amelia intuitively understands the notion of shooting a ‘selfie’ of herself by pointing the camera directly towards herself, backwards.

More Amelia photos. I love her playfulness, epic low angles, and photographing of *EVERYTHING* around her with no discrimination!