I recently received an email from a friend that included a fun article titled, “54 Reasons Why You Should Be a Photographer.”
The author, Lauren Lim, began with, “Being a photographer is seriously awesome.” And continues, “I’ve compiled 54 really fantastic (reasons)…After you read all these reasons you’ll probably be even more inspired by this medium, and be itching to get out and shoot more.” Reading that introduction intrigued me and, of course, I agreed with him when he wrote, “I think everyone should get into photography. You don’t ever have to do it professionally. That’s not what being a photographer means. Being a photographer just means you really love photography.”
The list of “54 reasons why you should be a photographer” didn’t really include 54 different reasons; it was pretty much made up of the same reason written over and over in different ways. However, I did select seven that I really liked and I think they are prefect as to why anyone should practice the art of photography.
1. “Capture a memory that you can have forever.”
2. “See the beauty (I’ll add the words, through you lens) every day.”
3. “It’s a creative outlet.”
4. “Share your perspective.”
5. “Express yourself.”
6. “Tell a story”
7. “Can make other people think.”
The exciting medium of photography began with inventors like Joseph Nicephore Niepce, when he succeeded in creating the first permanent image. Louis Daguerre with the “Daguerreotype” and Henry Fox Talbot’s “Calotype” that were instrumental in helping us with the first of that list, ““Capture a memory that you can have forever.”
There were the pioneers of photography like Ansel Adams, Galen Rowell and Eliot Porter that showed use how a photograph would help us, “See the beauty everyday.”
Jerry Uelsman, Duane Michals, Edward Seichen and Man Ray were among the first to split with traditional photographers and might even have said, “It’s a creative outlet.”
When I read the words, “Express yourself.” I immediately thought of the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe and Annie Leibovitz.
The last two about how photography can, “Tell a story.” and “Can make other people think.” Absolutely had me thinking about the wartime photography of Robert Mapplethorpe and Annie Leibovitz. and street photographer, Weegee.
I only mentioned those photographers that had a hand in the beginnings of photography and started us all thinking of the things we all might add to that list. And I am sure without hesitation readers can add pages of modern photographer’s names.
If you feel the urge, be sure to let me know if you have additions to “Why you should be a photographer”.
As for me I’ll just be content with Lim’s words, “Being a photographer is seriously awesome.” And “Being a photographer just means you really love photography.”
My website is at www.enmanscamera.com
It’s my relaxation. And it’s seriously awesome. 🙂
Good article John & a great photo of Linda & her D2Hs & 70-300VR
thanks Sam. Linda really liked that D2h. As you know, I made her get a D300s. However, she is eyeing that D3 I have in my shop. Regarding the 70-300VR, I doubt I will ever get her to change that lens…her favourite!
Great food for thought about why you should be a photographer. A related question, which I have pondered for some time, is at what point you consider yourself to be a photographer. Lots of folks shoot photos regularly with phones and point-and-shoot cameras, but would never consider themselves to be photographers. For me, the moment came when I realized that I was making conscious creative choices in the way I was using my camera and looking at and framing my subjects.
Thank you for your thoughtful words Mike. I especially liked that you wrote, “I realized that I was making conscious creative choices”….I also believe that is what sets serious image makers from the point and shooters.