How to have my photography appreciated, or mean something?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
SirLataxe Veteran Member • Posts: 3,963
Re: How to have my photography appreciated, or mean something?

absquatulate wrote:

Toronto Photography wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

The question you need to ask yourself is why you need admiration from strangers to validate your craft/hobbies. If you can't enjoy the process then maybe you don't enjoy the hobby at all IMO.

That is like saying enjoy playing baseball or hockey by yourself. Photography like plays, film and writing is a team sport.

Have you ever heard of Vivian Maier? Photography can be either a completely personal pursuit or the opposite, there are no rules on how you should do it.

Well ..... there are some "rules" just as there are with all human activities in the various cultural and social conglomerations of people.  But you're right to suggest that there is a huge variety of arrangements for doing various things, including photography.

I find it helpful to draw an analogy with other modes of human communication (because that's what photography is, fundamentally - a communication medium). Consider text-based communications ......

There are diaries, which might be completely personal, meant to be read only by the diarist.  My own photos are a bit like this as I regard them as prosthetic memories rather than anything intended to communicate their content to others, even though others might see them from time to time.

There are the non-fiction items, intended to explore and transmit some specific knowledge-type in a fashion that attempts some degree of objectivity (even though there can never be anything truly objective, as all human viewpoints are subjective by their nature). Still, "photos of record" is a meaningful category, with sub-categories from "news" to "botanic illustrations".

Then there are novels, which are made-up-stuff intended to explore or reflect various syndromes, habits and so forth exuding from the vast and variegated antics of human nature. Many use photography to attempt something similar, via transformation of a 2D copy of 3D reality into an arrangement that represents more than just that, often via "artistic" manipulation of photos into radically transformed graphic imagery.


The last two are very much attempting to illicit "the admiration of strangers" ... or their continuing attention, at least.  I suspect that a high proportion of photography is meant for those wider communicative purposes whilst relatively few photographers are diarists taking pictures only for themselves. Even the diarists tend to want to show their memories to friends & family.


In The West, we like to pretend that we are "individuals" going about choosing to do only what our inner god-like little homunculus decides to do, with no heed paid to the opinions of others. This is an obvious nonsense. We're all addicted to communicating with other humans and we care very much "what strangers think".


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