A picture is worth a 1000 words. This old cliché is the basic premise to why photography is important.
But that’s the simple answer.
To further understand this question, we need to dig a little deeper and start a conversion. Or at least listen to me make some valid points, which hopefully you’ll agree with. If not, well I tried.
What is Photography
The word photography is derived from Greek roots by combining the words photos (light) + graphé (drawing). It’s like drawing with light.
In better words, photography is capturing a moment in time.
From the camera obscura to digital cameras, photography allows us to see the past, paint the present, and picture the future.
Historically, humans relied on paintings to depict the times. Photography has now allowed us to paint with light at an instant pace.
Why Photography Is Important
The reason why photography is important can be broken down to 7 reasons:
1. Family and Friends
The main reason why photography is important comes is because of the loved one in our lives.
I’m sure you can guess why. The memories and fond moments in your life can only be written about so much. Let’s be real, when was the last time you wrote about your family or friends?
We really don’t write about the best times in our lives with our family and friends other than short social media posts. Some people are better at it by maintaining a journal or personal blog.
And words are limited at expressing a moment. You can only be so descriptive unless you can write like Ernest Hemingway.
A photograph can take you back in time, whether it be a year, or 50 years. Being able to relive the best moments in your life visually will bring a bit of warmth to your heart. And it’s not only for you to look at, but for future generations of your family. It’s their right to see a part of their history, too.
Being able to photograph these precious moments in life is actually something we take for granted. We should be taking more photos, especially if we’re going to look back 50 years.
News is important.
We need to know what’s happening in the world. It helps us have a better understanding of humanity and the planet we belong to.
And what’s more important than new is factual news. Not fake news.
With supporting images in a news article, the article will be more credible and give the reader a sense of understanding.
Of course, there’s the issue of image manipulation or what’s also known as Photoshopping a photo. The originality of images also needs to be verified.
But don’t forget, before there was image altering and more importantly before digital photography, we were only viewing photos that were credible.
Furthermore, mainstream journalism originally started on print newspapers and was never digital or on TV.
Photography was widely more important in journalism before the introduction of videography.
3. Photography is an Art
We all need hobbies. Great hobbies.
Watching Netflix or playing countless hours of Warcraft is not considered a great hobby. They’re fun, easy, and sometimes interesting. But they’re not really something to be looked as an accomplishment.
The art of photography, yes, it’s an art, can be taken up as a hobby as young as childhood or late as retirement. Whenever, really.
The hobby will require you to get a camera, even if it’s a smartphone, and understand the rules of photography. In turn, you’ll be able to express your creative side.
If you build it, they will come. Whoops, that’s from Field of Dreams.
What I meant to say is if you show it, they will buy.
In the marketing field, I’m sure having an image of a product on a print ad is trivial.
But it’s more than having an image. It’s about having the right image.
In photography, the product image has to have the right composition, angle, saturation, etc. It needs to be appealing to consumers. And remembered.
Marketing departments and agencies aren’t going to be cheap with getting the right product photographed. They’ll spend on it for an expected higher ROI.
Photography is important for businesses and there is a lot of money in it.
5. Photography Has Helped Us Start Social Movements
The power of one image can make people around the world try to lead a better life.
Several powerful images force people to lead a better life.
We live in a world where we can no longer ignore human rights issues, climate change, and the treatment of animals.
Photographs that resonate with us, has changed us for the good. Others may not agree, but you know it’s the right thing.
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We did not want to get too close to him. I did not want him using his last ounce of energy in trying to avoid us. It took him a long time and a lot of effort to be able to stand up only to collapse again. We let him be. It was one of the hardest decisions I have faced in a long time. I want the images to be able to tell his story. I want to be able to tell the story of his species. He was once a huge male polar bear and now he is a bag of bones, reduced to skin hanging loosely off of his once massive frame. He will be dead soon and I want him to go in peace after living a life as a great polar nomad. We cannot prove that he is in this condition because of a lack of sea ice but is it a glimpse into the future as ice reaches its lowest extent in recorded history? I hear a lot of suggestions from people like “let’s take polar bears to Antarctica so they can eat penguins” or “let’s put out styrofoam platforms so they can be on the ocean”. These suggestions are irrational but it does mean that people do care. The only way polar bears can be saved is by reducing our global carbon footprint and finding renewable energy. It breaks my heart to see this but our team at @sea_legacy is shifting into high gear to continue connecting the world to our ailing marine ecosystems. #MPA #keepoilexplorationoutofthearctic #climatechangeisreal #bethechange #riseup #hedoesnotspeakforme #love #beauty #hungry
6. Photography Makes Us Think
The most powerful photos of all time don’t need a caption. You’ve probably seen some.
They’ve been photographed by chance or for an assignment.
And the image makes us think.
And it makes us wonder.
Have you had this feeling before?
7. Photography Takes Us Out of Our Comfort Zone
It’s nice standing in front of a white sand beach with turquoise water on a sunny day. It’s natural to take a photo of it. But it’s not a great photo. It’s a photograph many people have seen before.
To take the photos that have impact, you need to get out of your comfort zone.
You need to be in the rain.
You need to be in the cold.
You need to be on the mountain.
You need to be on the ground.
You need to be somewhere dangerous.
You need to get the shot.
Photography is important because it allows us to remember the best moments in our lives. It allows use to showcase the world’s beauty and its weakness. It questions us and forces us to act on the urgent issues we face.
I think photography is amazing and we also need it.
And I hope I convinced you with a few great points on the importance of photography.