The Purpose of Photography
No matter if you're a professional photographer or just an every day smart phone photographer, our lives are filled with capturing an unthinkable amount of moments every year! However, have you ever asked yourself why? Why do we press that shutter button? In this quick article, we are going to answer the question: what is the purpose of a photo and how can that be a powerful method of communication?
We are going to be exploring "photography theory!" This is the practice of understanding the art of capturing images and exploring the true purpose of taking photographs. Photography theory rarely gets discussed and most don't even acknowledge it.
Because of the lack of useful resources, I had to learn this mostly on my own and that is why I wrote this article to help give you an understanding of why we take pictures. You reading this article shows that you care about capturing meaningful photographs that can make an impact on those around you!
Before we get started, you might just be wondering why it even matters to understand the anatomy and purpose of photography. Put briefly, it is because we have a tendency to default to modified replication instead of actually creating something truly original, authentic, and meaningful.
Being able to understand the purpose, provides you the ability to take advantage of that power within the medium to make an impactful photograph! Pretty cool, right? Knowing the purpose of photography gives you the freedom with no limits on what is possible, letting you be inspired by anything that you choose to photograph!
When most artists mention the value of photography, they usually bring up something related to telling a story, preserving history, or emotional expression. I completely agree, but what upsets me, is that there is basically little to no understanding on what that means.
Photography is a communication medium of capturing light that comes from two Greek words that translate to "painting with light."
Knowing that photography is about painting with light, how do we make use of that? Essentially, light contains the power to make us see what we might not be able to. We can use that to document it as a part of life to become history, which all mixes together to form this form of energy that cannot be described.
"The power of light is a potent energy that is hidden within to convey an important message."
This is my definition whenever the term "powerful" is added as a prefix of any image. You may use a different word, but it's important that it has the same meaning. This "energy" is of many things. It includes the expression, the story, the emotion, and ultimately what your original intention was when taking your photo. It exists because of YOU as the photographer, painting with light, to express your visual message with a meaning!
Essentially, photography is very personal, as it is all about bridging humanity (who we all are as people, including you and I) and light (creative communication) together to create an energy that ultimately you define.
Let me ask you this: what is your artistic philosophy?
Create a philosophy to your work and you will find purpose with your photography! Understanding this will make your photos beyond social media worthy. Your photos will contain special, impactful, and influential value!
When you begin to look at photography in this perspective, you realize what importance this art form has and the opportunities that you can do with it.
|Written by Gabriel Dupon|
Photographer based in Northern Colorado.
Gabriel Dupon Photography
Northern Colorado Portrait Photographer