Photography Shows Us Amazing Things
I want you to look around your environment. Whether this is at your house, office, or walking down the street you will come in contact with something called photography. Pictures are seen on your desk, the internet, billboards, and your favorite cereal box. Almost everywhere you go you have been impacted by a photograph. You have either been the person behind the camera, the one posing, or the one staring at an advertisement in a magazine. The world of photography has changed dramatically in the past couple years and continues to change. The cameras on our phones, and ease of uploading our photos to the internet has made the number of images in our world explode. Marvin Heiferman explains that millions of photographic images are seen throughout the world and the number rises every day. Photography impacts us to the point that it is an important part of our lives in some aspect even if it’s different from one person to the next. Photography’s extensive depth of possibilities and the enjoyment and need of images is clearly amazing (12). Each of us has done something with a picture even if you don’t see yourself as a photographer. This shows us that photography is important.
We as human beings are expected to overlook some details of something. None of us can possibly take in every little part of a fast moving sunset (Seger). Or take in every detail of a place you have never been before and maybe never will again. Sherlock Holmes may be the exception since he is known for seeing every little thing, but since we are not all Sherlock Holmes we need a different way to take in all the small details that make up our existence. We overlook the importance of photography in showing us these details. The camera is a recording machine which captures the best, worst, strange, and funny moments of our lives. Those moments make up our existence and the camera ties into that existence by recording the details of the moment. Each part of our life and the world is interesting and photography is an important piece that shows somebody else (and ourselves) the detailed moments of our life. While we concentrate on the overall view of our life the photograph we took will show us the small details we may have missed later. Photography is important because we can document something and have it forever. Photography lets us see something we may never have noticed otherwise. Photography is a way to express your ideas for others to see.
There is no way to deny that life flies by. One day it’s Tuesday then all of sudden the sun is rising again and it is Wednesday. The memories you made at one time in your life starts to fade as more days pass in-between till perhaps one day you can’t remember at all. This was an important topic that came up during an interview I had with Kelly Zimmerman from Cherished Images photography on 8th St. and Fulton St. in downtown Boise. I parked my car, slung my pink, flowered bag onto my shoulder; gathered up my jitters as best I could and strolled towards the red brick building with the large sign ‘The 8th Street Studio’ above the door. Inside the photography studio there was plenty of space for laughter, huge smiles, and lots of fun. Photography equipment along with antique and modern props took up other parts of the space. I plunged into the soft, leather couch and took in the rest of my surroundings; especially the huge, picturesque windows in the front and the side of the building. The natural light bounced around the room landing on wooden crates, stools, and stacks of books. The light shone off of a beautiful photo of several Saint Bernard puppies with pink tongues hanging out. I brought my attention to Zimmerman who sat in the armchair to my right.
During the middle of the interview I asked the question, “what is your favorite subject to photograph and why?” After she answered the question I mentioned how much I love to take pictures of my niece and nephews. Kelly smiled and said you’re capturing a tiny essence of who they are. It’s important to capture that because it’s a moment you will never get back and now it is a memory locked in a picture. She continued, “The only way to hold on to those moments is to be able to look back on them. Not through your head since that will fail you no matter how much you think oh I will never forget this moment, it’s so awesome. You will. Photographs are the only way to make sure you don’t forget and help to remind you and help your memory along.” Since we will never get back moments in our life photography is an important way to gather the moment’s details into a picture we will have forever.
Photography is an amazing way to document every moment of our lives so we will have that memory forever. You can look back on the photograph and remember what was special during the time frame it was taken. Zimmerman states even when a loved one is gone from this earth the pictures you captured of them is the “proof of their existence” (Zimmerman). With photography you can document each stage in your life journey and the life journey of those important to you. Not only is photography a way to document events in your life, but also document the events of the world that turn into history. These photographs are important so we don’t forget what took place and for the future generation to have proof. To point out just how powerful photography is on documenting things Heiferman quotes Henry Luce, from Life magazine in the 1930s:
To see life, to see the world, to eyewitness great events; to watch the faces of the poor and the gestures of the proud; to see strange things- machines, armies, multitudes, shadows in the jungle and on the moon, to see man’s work- his paintings, towers, and discoveries, to see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come… to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed. (11-12)
I can always find something in a photograph that I missed while I took the picture. Sometimes it is someone in the background making a funny face which provides me with plenty of laughs. If the camera did not click right at that second no one would have seen that face which is worth seeing and showing to them when they are twenty. Other times it is the smiling faces which remind me about what that moment meant to them. Both of these examples tie back to the joy that we were experiencing in life. The joy was captured and as you look back on the picture you see the tiny details – a smile or silly face- of that joy that you would have missed if the camera was not there.
Expressions on the subjects’ faces are captured by a camera, but the photographer’s expression is also captured each time they push the shutter button. You have ideas and photography is a way to bring those ideas to life. Photography allows you to show others the unique perspective that is hidden inside your head. Photojournalist George Lang believes photography is “an excuse to say things you would edit out of a normal conversation, do things you would hold back from doing” (Lang 9). You have a voice and photography is a way to use it. When someone looks at your pictures those pictures speak for you. They tell that person the details about what you’re passionate about. God made every person unique and photography is important to express that uniqueness to yourself and others!
Photography is an important part of our lives. Photography can only be important though if we are in the moment and not just shooting the look of something. If we are just shooting the way something looks we are in danger of missing the real reason why we took the picture in the first place (Lang 11). Researcher Linda Henkel of Fairfield University argues in an article from the Huffington Post that the camera can get in the way for us to actually attend a moment. There are times that the camera becomes more important than the moment we are photographing. When that happens it may be best to put the camera down and take in the moment. But if the camera goes down the details of the moment will be lost forever. What is the solution? Blogger Sierra Black concludes “what we need isn’t fewer photos. It’s to become better photographers.” We realize photography’s power when we take the right type of pictures. These are the pictures that deep down connect the moment and the person. When we hold an actual print in our hands and look at it we realize amazing things about our existence.
No matter where you go photography plays into your life somehow. We don’t realize how big of an impact photography truly has on us until we see the details of our life hidden in a photograph. When you flip through your photo album and start looking for those details you suddenly realize you are truly blessed. A photograph keeps a moment frozen in time so we have it forever. Something like joy becomes clearer as we look deeper into the photograph. What you care about shouts from the photograph you took. Photography is important so we don’t look over the special details while we concentrate on the bigger picture of life. Those details make our lives interesting and we don’t want to miss them. Lauren from PhotographyConcentration.com, points out that “Photographers never stop shooting. Why would you? Life never stops being interesting.” Never stop capturing your life, because more adventures wait for you that need to be frozen in time.
Written By: Emily Holty (posted with permission)
English 101 Unit 2
6 March 2016
Black, Sierra.“Do Parents Today Take Too Many Photos of Their Kids?” Babble.com. Disney, 27 Dec.2012.Web.8 March 2016.
Carr, Susan.The Art and Business of Photography. New York: Allworth Press,2011.Print.
Heiferman, Marvin.Photography Changes Everything.New York: Aperture,2012.Print.
Lange,George,and Scott Mowbray.The Unforgettable Photograph.
Lim, Lauren.“54 reasons why you should be a photographer.”
Photogaphyconcentrate.com.N.p.2011.6 March 2016.
“Memory Loss Causes: Taking Pictures May Ruin What You Recall.” Huffington Post 10 Dec 2013. 8 March 2016.
Segers, Mary.”9 Amazing Benefits of Photography.” PictureCorrect.com.WordPress, n.d. Web. 6 Mar. 2016.
Zimmerman, Kelly. Personal interview. 6 Feb. 2016.