Why take pictures?


She surveys her sward

It has been said that if you’re taking pictures for the “likes” or the “faves” you’re taking pictures for all the wrong reasons. Well, maybe. A while back someone asked me “why” I’m a photographer. At the time I responded with something trite like, “it’s fun” or my standard refrain, “I’m too lazy to work and too honest to steal.”

When I thought about the “why” of taking pictures, a few other feelings began to surface. And as I sorted it out, one thing stood out. I like to please people. Oh, photography is a tool in the survival toolkit and I do things to make a living so I can keep a roof overhead and some food around.

But a real trigger to keep taking pictures are the reactions people have. When someone looks at a picture and smiles; I like that. When someone looks at a picture and it brings a memory or story back; I like that. When someone looks at a picture and says, “That doesn’t look like me!” my heart sinks.

Not that a negative reaction is always bad. Back in my journalism days a picture that pissed someone off or forced an issue made me very happy. See, it’s the reaction that’s satisfying. The desired reaction, be it pleasure or something else, is motivating for me.

So when one of my images happens to trip the Explore algorithm, I get a nice kick out of the extra views, faves and comments. And I’m going to enjoy it.

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