PHOTOGRAPHY - Window to the Past. Message to the Future.
“Just take the damn picture!”
This phrase seem familiar to you? Most of us, myself included, have either shouted this at someone or have been told this before. Why do we have to stand around for what feels like eternity for one photo? After a while, the fake smiles become strained, your muscles start to cramp up and your patience quickly runs out. But on the flipside, how often have you found yourself looking at a photo and wishing you smiled? That the lighting was better? That you got more people in the shot?
The extra time we take to get a good photo is rewarding in the end, yet we always seem to find ourselves disappointed because we rushed. We’ve all suffered this lapse in our judgement at some point in our lives. So, are we underestimating the power of photography?
The Power of Photography
Photography is our way to document history. Tell a story. Express an emotion. Re-live a moment. It speaks a wordless language. Photographs provide a peek of the past, and an opportunity to create a message for the future.
“A picture is worth a thousand words”. Who hasn’t heard that saying before? For the most part, that saying is true. But I feel that it actually does photography an injustice. A thousand words is a lot, but nothing compared to the emotional response that a photo can provoke.
Imagine yourself reading the paper. An article says a tsunami has hit a small island town. You hear it on the radio too, but it isn’t until you see a photo of the carnage that you feel the real pain in your stomach. The visual sense will almost always create a longer lasting effect than if you were to read about it.
My Newly Found Hobby
As of a few months ago, I have taken up the hobby of photography. I bought myself a DSLR (Canon 80D for those in the know) and began snapping away. At first it seemed confusing. There are so many buttons, functions and principles you need to understand to get the perfect photo. I focused on photographing nature and wildlife, and before I knew it my hobby taught me to appreciate nature for what it is, and all the life it holds. It can take days of shooting to get a photo that truly represents the spectacle we see every day, and it really helps you understand the significance and power of the visual sense.
Even though I have written from a mostly personal perspective on this topic, I can’t say that I haven’t learned a thing or two about the importance of photography to portray a message for a business as well. Photography will always be a means of expression, and its ability to communicate a message to anyone regardless of language barriers shouldn’t be underestimated. When it comes to things like public relations, web design and marketing, photography should be taken seriously. It has the power to make or break a design, or the way someone feels when viewing a brand. It’s a window to the past, a message to the future and a call to action for the now.