So What?

It's one question I find myself asking more and more as I look at images, whether mine or by another photographer. So what?

Many photos have a clear purpose. Family photos, client work, events, headshots. Street portraits, for me, often have a clear purpose, a response to the interaction. But my other street photography, travel, landscapes?

There is plenty of work that I admire that never begs the question. Much of the work by the Vii Collective for example. Or the Wool Sock Project. Full of purpose and meaning.

I've just started re-reading the Steven Pressfield book "Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t".

He's right. Nobody does. Nobody cares. Nobody wants to see my photos or yours. Unless we give them a reason to. A reason not to want to miss out.

Art for art's sake sounds nice, but that's not what I want to do. Admittedly beauty can be enough in itself to constitute art and to bring real value to the world. I doubt I will ever to be unhappy to create an image of real beauty. But that's not really what I want to do either. Not just that.

I want to create images where I never need to ask 'so what?'.

(Brooks Jenson spoke on the same topic recently on the Lenswork podcast - well worth a listen.)


Headshot, portrait, street and documentary photographer in NYC and Jersey City

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