Photography That Matters
Our political environment seems to divide us, NEWS and social media aim to control us and advertising tell us to have a better life you need the latest and greatest thousand dollar tech product. We've become angry, confused and unfocused on what matters. It doesn't have to be this way.
Research shows that negative experiences or the thought of them moves people more than positive ones and that the negative perspective is more contagious than a positive perspective. According to some research, you might be hard-wired with a negative or positive brain even. That shouldn't however, stop us from focusing on what matters. You may be wired for negativity but we can all agree that love matters, that peace, compassion, and understanding matters. As photographers, we're trained to see beauty negative brain or not. Photography takes effort, we know that and so does being your best you. If we combine being our best selves, creating photography that matters make sense.
The Community's Table
Being commissioned to document a community table for the Downtown Austin Alliance, I found myself in a project where photography mattered. The Community's Table was a project documenting the creation of a 50ft long table made of over 300 individual pieces of wood. Each piece of wood had a someone's vision of a future Austin written on it. The community members spanned the gamut from children to adults, rich and poor coming together to make the future a better place. The imagery had a direct impact on the communities documented. It's not selling a product or service but an idea of a better tomorrow. This project was about love for the future.
It had been years since I felt this good about a shoot. Then I took on documenting a Barmitvah and that felt good too. Thinking back, the time I felt this good inside about photography was when I documented a friends wedding or engagement which brought me to realize where I should be going with my work.
Photography matters to people. It matters to me and I'm sure it matters to you. I've not been this motivated for photography in years but you can be too (if you're not already) by adding something simply powerful to your work - Love.
The world needs love, it needs to see how we operate in that space. We're built in to be challenged by this perhaps but it's possible. Talk to your friends that are wedding photographers or landscape photographers. Better yet, reach out to someone whose work inspires you and tell them you love their work. Then go make your best work ever.