There is a lot of work that goes into one of my images. I’ll spare you the details of it all, but the number of hours that go into one photograph that makes it into my portfolio is countless. Inevitably, there is a story behind each one of the time on location and getting there as well as what went into producing the image itself.
Photographers value what goes into a photograph
This story that acts as a backdrop to these images is something I can see as the photographer and I do value it. It is something that contributes, in part, to what I see as my best work because I value something beyond the image itself. The story of what goes into my work is something I am deeply connected to, but it is difficult to communicate across a still frame. For this reason, the images I see as my best work don’t always line up with what others think.
In certain instances, the story can become better than the photo on its own. I may know the story, but if the viewer doesn’t read a caption or if there is none it can be impossible for them to understand. Due to the medium, this can mean my best stories don’t end with an amazing shot!
What the viewer cares about
The viewer of a photograph doesn’t have much of a chance at knowing what the backstory of an image is. Even if they did, I don’t think that it matters to many especially when viewing the image with a critical eye. If it isn’t something compelling then there isn’t much to like as a viewer of the art.
How this changes my approach
When considering all of this it is still important to me to hold value in the stories behind images. Even if most others don’t care, I still do. It also helps with my other objective of creating art that people care about through communicating the story through the image rather than just taking photographs. Having a goal like this helps for me to communicate the emotion and connection to a scene rather than it feeling empty and void of a real voice.