Like many fellow enthusiast photographers, I'm sure, I've struggled with how to transform something that's enjoyable, into something that actually produces a significant amount of money. With how to turn the hobby I love into a living.
I recently saw a short video by The Art Of Photography on creating photographs that matter. In it, Ted Forbes, explores highly relevant questions and concepts that I have been all too familiar with in recent months. Bluntly, he states, "The world doesn't need any more photographers."
And how true that is. The rise of smartphones has placed a camera in the hand of every women, man and child. Every location, every scene is ready to be photographed. The world doesn't need any more images of the Opera House in the light of day, or freshly brewed cups of coffee.
In the video, Tim explores a photo book that was sent in to him. The book is full of personal images, each capturing memories and experiences that resonated with the photographer, Lukáš Procházka. And while the work only had a tiny fraction of the reach of celebratory Intsagrammers, for example, the impact of the work on the viewer was monumentally higher. The book vividly captured and shared the photographer's emotions, each image telling its own story.
For me, the timing of this video - and its message - couldn't have been more apt.
The next day my mother and grandmother joined us in the city to explore. Over food and laughs, we shared a wealth of memorable experiences together.
And so when the opportunity arose to take an impromptu portrait of my grandma, I did. Not for money, not for likes, not for recognition. But for her. And for me.
A wrote a few words to accompany the portrait, expressing my appreciation for her, and shared the photo on Facebook and Instagram. And while it is one of my least liked photos on Instagram, it doesn't matter one bit. Its message resonated with viewers, who commentated that they could relate in their own way too.
But most of all, it resonated with her. So much so that she emotionally handed her phone to my grandfather mid-read through. After she composed herself, she shared with me her appreciation of the photo and words, grateful to hear them. One of her closest friends noted the bittersweet truth that it often isn't until a funeral that we share the extent of our love and appreciate for those dearest to us.
I sincerely hope that this post doesn't come off as me blowing my own trumpet. For I decided to share this experience to highlight the emotional impact our work can have if it's produced with meaning.
And that's what I intend to embody through my current and future photography, be it landscape, travel or portrait. To capture special moments. To wake at 4am to photograph the rarely viewed morning light.
To share work that matters. And encourage others to do likewise.