I have been making photos for most of my life. While in the current technology environment it is easier with carrying around a high quality camera in my pocket I am talking about taking pictures I care about. Ever since I was a kid in the wild wild west of the 1980’s, taking pictures with a disposable camera and waiting to get my prints back, I have enjoyed taking pictures.
I have been seriously approaching and learning about photography for the last two years. Really studying the techniques and tips that go into making really good photos not just snap shots. While I feel like my photos has come a long way in the last two years, I know I still have much to learn before I call it “mastered”
What I am also learning along the way, is that no matter how much better my photos become and how many more keepers I get vs wasted frames, no one cares. Really no one cares.
I make a lot of the photos I take for me. For me to look back on a single moment to remember and reflect. Our memories are poor substitutes. I also take pictures of things that I want to share with others and once shared those people usually forget.
In our social media world of sharing our photos most of the work we put into our art gets a quick double tap and a swipe and then is forgotten. We feel the pull to share but for what?
I am not blaming social media for no one caring about your photography, it was the same back in the olden days. You would go sit through your neighbors slide show of vacation slides and while they usually held some meaning for them, they held little meaning for you.
I like to consider myself a photographer, in that I make pictures for people either clients or for fun. I like to share my skill with others where I can. I feel that those people I create for appreciate the work and are grateful for it.
It’s when I create for myself and those images that mean a lot to me, either as creative art or as a memory tool, those images will probably not be noticed by the world around me and that’s okay.
Getting noticed by others, organically, as the saying goes is easier these days but also much harder. The signal to noise ratio is that much higher. With professionals and talented amateurs alike having the same access to platforms to share their work like never before in human history. It’s probably safe to say that billions of pictures are taken every day around the world. That’s good and not so good.
It means for the creative their work has to be that much better. To rise above the look here, look at me, world we live in now. To really create something meaningful, whether for ourselves or someone else. Chances are, no one will notice.
So what are we to do? Stop creating? Stop taking the pictures we want to take in order to satisfy some greater reward system? Take the same pictures everyone else is taking so we can be listed as an also ran?
Nope, I say keep creating, keep making the photos, or art or woodwork or whatever you do as a creative outlet regardless of anyone else noticing. Being creative, truly creative is hard. Being recognized is harder still.
We all have different motivations for why we create the things we do and who we create them for. The point is to create to not be stagnate to not leave a mark on this world to show your passing.
In the end, no one cares about your photography. As long as you do, that’s what matters.