Photography vs. Art

Photography used to be a rather arcane skillset. Oh, yes, anyone could snap a shot with a Brownie, but when you had a big event you wanted someone who knew what they were doing to record it.

This is not the case today. Lots of weddings are being photographed by Uncle Gene, and he is doing a fine job of it.

Professional photographers have been scrambling to differentiate themselves from Uncle Gene, but their skills, for the most part, are not any better. Another generation, and “professional photographer” won’t exist as a career choice. Even today, it doesn’t exist as a viable means of income.

Photography, in this vein, is recording of information. It is the realm of weddings, events, school yearbooks, and engagements photos. And journalism, phone photography, and candid snapshots.

Like everyone else, I do some of that. If the dogs do something cute and I have my phone, I try to capture it. If my wife is sleeping with her mouth open, I have to capture it. If I see a neat car parked on the street, I’ll probably capture it.

But mostly what I do is personally expressive. I’m not capturing a picture of a small town business. I’m expressing a nostalgia for something from my past. I’m trying to invoke a similar feeling in the mind of the viewer of my picture.

There is no money in that either, by the way, but at least no one else can do it quite the same way I can. And the same is true of you, if you care to give it a try.

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