Every photographer has their own story about getting into the profession, as well as unique reasons why they love what they do. For instance, Burk Uzzle said that photography is a love affair with life. Diane Arbus believed that there are things nobody would see if she didn’t photograph them, while Josef Koudelka claimed that a good picture tells many different stories at once.
It is always inspiring and motivating to find out what makes photography special to professionals. In light of this and to celebrate World Photography Day, we reached out to professionals from around the globe and asked them why they love photography. The answers are insightful, heartfelt, and inspiring if you want to grab a camera and set off for an adventure.
Photography allows me to connect with the world around me. The camera acts like an icebreaker that will let me strike up a conversation with just about anyone. It also acts as a key that opens doors for me and gives me the opportunity to get to places I’d otherwise have no reason to be. It’s changed my perception of the world, and my relationship to people. It’s made me become more empathetic, and more aware of the many different realities people experience.
The fact that a camera can freeze a moment in time and make it last forever is what makes photography special to me. Not only is it a way to travel back in time, it gives the viewer a chance to share some of the action and feelings of the moment a photographer witnessed and captured. That’s why I like street photography and candid portraits above all other photography categories; they’re not images, they’re snippets of someone else’s life that you get to experience yourself.
The ability to capture the world as you see it – sharing the things you care about and what excites you – this is what makes photography special to me. There’s something powerful about being able to share an image online and have it remind somebody of a memory they have, or to inspire them to travel some day. For me, it is a huge creative outlet as a way to express myself and to learn more about composition and color.
With photography I feel like I am always learning, there’s always a new challenge presenting itself. Another reason why I love photography would be that I used to spend so much time indoors behind a desk – it has allowed me to visit new places and meet people. Some of my favorite memories have been wandering cities late at night with people I met through photography.
Photography has become the main outlet for my self-expression. It relaxes me, it helps me escape from the stress of daily life and the boredom of routine. It calms my nerves and allows me to be present to the moment. Photography is like meditation for me, and it makes me happy.
I believe that when you can do what you like and also make a living from it – this is the best combination.
Photography, at first, made a powerful impact on me because I was amazed at how one can tell a whole story with an image that was taken in a split of a second.
Later, I was lucky to witness the biggest evolution of photography with digital cameras.
This technological advancement opened a lot more opportunities for me to be more creative, especially with the editing software that allowed me to express my ideas and stories even better.
Today, that first impression of photography, to tell a story with a single image, is far more important than it was ever before. We now live in a world where everyone can share stories, run blogs, record live TV… and be seen by others in a matter of seconds.
The best way to share a story in a world that is overflowed with information is photography.
Photography can tell a story with the least information noise and in the shortest amount of time.
Stock photographer as a profession means freedom to me.
Freedom to create.
Freedom to create what I feel like creating.
Freedom to spend time with my family whenever I want.
Our father was a photographer also. He fell in love with photography but he never forced us to share his passion. I think that was the key to watch him learn and get to know photography from a distance.
We were already interested in this art when he bought his first digital camera. The digitalization of photography was a turning point for me and my brother Ivan since we grew in the computer age and we were simply drawn to digital photography.
We never had artistic hands, we never had special skills but somehow cameras let you position yourself in the world and make a memory. Since then, it is our way of making memories, it is our way of expressing ourselves, it is our way of making great things together, it is our way of being brothers.
There are nearly unlimited reasons why I love my profession.
I will try to present the most important ones.
Imagine a day with your family.
Imagine that you are enjoying your time with your most loved ones and you wish you could stay with them a little longer.
Imagine that you could stay with them all day!
Imagine that you somehow wish that you can be with them as long as you want.
I don’t have to imagine that.
Besides that, I work with my brother. So even when I go to work I am still with my family and he is the only person at my workplace.
We create. There is a special feeling when you are doing creative work. This amplifies when you have confirmation for your creativity. And we have a lot.
Thus, there is no other profession that I would like more at this moment. Priceless.
Photography for me is all about personal freedom. It’s a fantastic way to create your own reality. Especially if you’re working with something highly controllable like still life. You can feel like you’re directing a movie, giving orders to your actors that are cups and cookies.
You can tell a story about anything! Need a dragon? Cut it out of the sheet of paper. Want a castle? Construct it with sugar cubes.
It’s incredibly liberating. You are a small demiurge in charge of your own tiny world. What can be more fun?
Honestly, I love my profession because I love comfort. I shoot at home, so I have the shortest commute ever, just roll over the sofa, keep your pajamas, get some coffee, you’re already at work.
I love how you can manage your own time, how you can take a break if you need one or conversely stay up late, finishing something difficult but interesting. I love that being a photographer allows me to set up my own goals and have no-one to demand a report from me other than myself.
My art is focused on the combination of illustration and photography but, in fact, I started doing photography before illustration. I think that both photography and illustration help me tell a message to the world.
In today’s society, it is very important to say a lot with very little, which is why photography is so important. We have too much information at our fingertips, so it’s important to feel that first impression when viewing the image.
My profession allows me to own my work. By working without bosses I can afford to do what I really like.
I believe that creative work must be done from the heart. So I don’t usually work on commission. It is just like the work of a painter. They do their work, and the client connects with it, that’s why they buy it.
For me, it is very important to do what I really like. I would say that I never chose art, but art has chosen me.
Photography enables you to depict your very own view onto the world. I love the excitement of capturing a decisive moment. It is a bit like a treasure hunt. It’s thrilling to wait for the film to develop and see the results of your work, for example. Did you really make it to capture the scenery you’ve seen in the right moment? How does the final edited picture look like? It is definitely the most adventurous visual journey I can tell.
As an editor, I view and discover many pictures per day. I love to discover new emerging talents from all over the world and to support them on their journey of success. THE SMART VIEW is my passion project. When I founded it 5 years ago, I felt that mobile photographers all around the world needed a voice to be accepted in the art scene. The project unites all the skills I’ve gained throughout my education as a photographer and graphic designer and I enjoy curating photography and connecting to photographers from all around the world.
I started photographing wildlife about 20 years ago. The first steps were full of failures and mistakes. However, I had a great desire and curiosity for this difficult business. With time and experience, I developed my signature style. The more you shoot, the more you hone your skills. New ideas and solutions appear on how to implement your ideas. Technical improvement of photographic equipment gives you an opportunity to realize the most complex creative tasks!
The world of wild animals is very complex, peculiar, and closed as well. You must learn to understand it, learn to read this “book”. This process is not fast at all. Often, things that were planned do not work out from the first try. But patience and perseverance and the ability to think outside the box solve the issue.
Photographers who shoot animals in their natural habitat have learned to open this little door to this closed world, they have learned to shoot and show the audience the most interesting things that happen there. Hard work stands behind this job, which is usually not spoken about. The audience sees only a beautiful facade of stunning photos.
Unfortunately, every year it becomes more difficult to photograph wild animals due to many factors. Among them are human overpopulation, shrinking of the habitats of animals, and as a result, their extinction; artificial restrictions on photography in some parks, high cost of licenses, increasing competition among photographers, and the massive accessibility of professional equipment. However, I believe that the profession of a wildlife photographer today remains one of the most difficult, romantic, and rare ones.
Happy World Photography Day!
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