Photographers and philosophers alike have been answering that question for ages now. What different can an amateur professional add or subtract to that. What you are going to read is not going to enlighten you in any way it is just a mere amalgamation of my thoughts.. a small peep into my vision.. or simply put an expression of my beliefs.
What is it about a sight that makes you want to pick up or swing your camera from your shoulder to your eyes and capture a moment? The answer to this question I believe is very subjective.. I will try different approaches to answering this question..I hope you are all able to relate to it at some level..
A Documentary Photographer’s answer: I would want the person looking to be concentrating and take moment to observe all the elements and try to see the story the photographer is trying to tell. Maybe all the photographs don’t have one but nevertheless we ought to look. This is still a very fun learning experience when I visit photo exhibitions around the city.
I still remember the day I went to an exhibition in Colaba with a senior in my photography school. It was an exhibition by Padmashree award winning photographer Pablo Bartholomew called “Calcutta Dairies”. He was still on the 5th picture when I was already done looking at all 50 of them and very amazed and happy as usual. I walked up to my senior and asked, “Am done here, its pretty cool! what are you doing it’ll take you ages..lets go.” He called me to the photo he was looking at and asked me what is saw in that photograph. I expressed whatever I could see pretty literally.. He made me stand there for 10minutes looking at that picture and slowly everything started making more sense.. `the people.. the place.. the environment.. Each and every detail had soo much to say about the photograph.. I was just amazed at what an idiot I had been..i then spent the next 2 and half hours there confirming that and reading pictures.. I am still grateful to that person for teaching me a big lesson that day..
One thing I realised that day is photography is not about what you see, its about what the photographer wants you to see..
A Photojournalist’s Answer: I see thing as they happen.. I see moments that change the society.. I see history in the making.. The pictures we show shape how people think..
At least that is how it was till a few years ago.
This is a dying art field.. Today with the advent of technology that enables us to take pictures with a single tap on the phone and send it.. And also the manifold increase in the viewers of digital media.. The photographs hardly make the kind of impact they did on people a decade ago.. To make matters worse the paparazzi are the people who call themselves photojournalist these days and are even very well paid..
A Wedding Photographer’s Answer: An average person lives for 70 years and he has selected me to capture the most important day of his life. A person goes through a lot in his entire lifetime but that is one day he never forgets..
We create memories.. we capture moments.. we take pictures.. some of which you might not be fond of today but when you see it 10 years from now it will bring a smile on your face. We tell stories.. we make everyone present, feel like a big part of the wedding. I still thank a dear friend who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to cover his wedding even when I was just a student..He gave my first chance.. I remember how the four of us(my team) struggled to get to Surat by train with all or photography equipment and lights.. It sure went very well..
A Fashion or Product Photographer’s Answer: Everything around us is beautiful.. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
It is true but unfortunately enough that is not how the fashion industry works. So many people are paid and so many things are manipulated in order to make things (more)beautiful. The more beautiful things look the more its value.. be it a fine cut diamond or a small scarf or a handbag. That’s is what we do, we make things beautiful we make things attractive. We make you want to have the thing when you look at it..We make things sell.
All the above are an attempt of mine to express myself as a photographer and also to express photography as a thought process, as an art to people.. We all have our own specific definition and although for us photographers it is our bread and butter, it means a lot more than that to us. It is an expression of our feelings our emotions our life.. This is what we do this is what brings us peace..
Thank you readers!!