A lot of photographers are forgetting this one important aspect of a photographer. That photography, the person or subject should be more important than the photographer. We are not celebrities, we are not talent, we are not history. We are storytellers, archivers, and documenters.
We glamourise their existence
When the photographer becomes more important than the subject, we glamourise their existence. So many photographers are selling themselves not their work. Be it Youtubers and their opinions, or lightroom presets, to make others have the same look as them. Or pushing gear and selling on equipment to make money off affiliate links. Look at me, look at me, I’m important because I shot Sony, Leica, or live in Paris or whatever. I’ve taken a photograph of Justen Bieber so I can associate or rub off their statement onto me.
What is more important the photo or the photographer
This is a hard pill to swallow because we all want and need to justify our existence or purpose. I’m important, pick me, use me, select me, invite me. This argument has grounds to be made. But beyond your ego, what you do is more important than who you are. Stop looking at other photographers and replicating what they do. In hopes of the same outcome. We need to stop focusing on our industry leaders and focus more on the craft.
I’m nothing without my subject
If you removed everything in your photograph of focus or importance what would you have? What would be the allure to look at the image? There is a reason there are so many bad photographs in the world. And a reason the ones that become historic have captured an important moment in time. Be it an event or person. There are few and far in-between images that are truly great. Great just because of the association with the photographer. And not the subject matter or story behind the work.
What photography should focus on
Meaning. What photography should focus on is the meaning behind the photograph. What is the reason to push the shutter button? Am I making this photo for money or for a job. OR for the pure joy of taking an image and playing. Is the reason behind the image to document an event? OR who we perceive as an important figure. Is the image your talking about a subject that speaks deeply to you? Climate change, social justice, Dead, life, meaning humanity? Because if we want to make ourselves more known. To become rich, famous for being behind the lens, then your soul and purpose are shallow and empty.