Friday, May 24, 2013

Memories vs Art (Commentary)

If you take a step back and look at photography, there are two strong camps. Memory captures and artists. Here is the twist though, some memory captures are also great artists. This subject came to my mind this week when my family was looking back at photos from my sister's wedding, and we quickly noted a difference between the wedding photographer's images, mine and the rest of the guests. The wedding photographer's work would fall into the category of artsy, vs mine which would likely be considered more photo-journalistic. Most of the guests shots were, well snap shots.

When we put all of the images together we get different views of an important story in our families history. Are the artistic shots, the photo-journalistic, or snap shots of greater value? Looking at them today, all the photos have value. Some of them are technically better and easier on the eyes, while others bring up stronger emotions. The funny thing is, it isn't always the technically good images that end up being more powerful. Sometimes that messed up, out of focus shot, that nobody else got, is the most memorable.

What's the point of all this? Let us, as photographers, get back to thinking about what we are photographing and why, rather than focusing so much on how sharp this image is vs that one. Or how technically great this is, vs that. More time on the why, and less on the how.