Love is Photography. Photography is Love.
I love the art that photography is. I’m fulfilled with the ability to go out with my camera and make photographs worthy of attention and admiration. More than the admiration and remarks I get on my photos is the self-gratification being a photographer offers me; I do this first for myself, and anyone who is interested or awed by my photos is an added bonus.
Being a photographer can be described as a solo romantic experience to begin with. It starts with love, a love for life and all its diversity or just a particular aspect of it. Every ‘romantic’ experience life has to offer is a moment worthy of a photograph.
Think about it. Moments are fleeting. There is nothing to a significant moment you experience once it passes but for the memory you have of it. The memory will fade or be altered in your mind with time, save for a photograph or another means of vividly documenting it without bias or prejudice.
Photographs encapsulate several things. The most important of it all for a romantic like me, is the feeling of the moment that became immortalized. It allows for revisiting the moment and flooding your senses with the mood and ambience the photograph offers. I believe a photograph should make you feel something. When a person is able to connect with a photograph, the romantic experience becomes plural.
Every moment in life I believe is a potential ‘Kodak’ moment.
When captured from the right perspective or angle and combined with light, it becomes a recipe for making art of life. The possibilities to make masterpieces of life then become infinite. The possibilities birth something to look forward to everyday as a photographer. It is an unending creation story to combine tools, elements, light and life to create thereby exercising our God-given ability from inception: Creation.
Passion comes with a drive.
It is the reason I would wake up at dawn to capture the morning sky before the sun emerged on the horizon and capture its steady rise as it colored the sky and brought day to the dawn. There is a magic to such moments that gives being alive enough reason.
Photography is the reason I’ll return home midway on running an errand to pick up a camera because I’ve seen something photo-worthy for which I’ll kick myself for letting pass.
Photography is the reason I’ll stay up late behind my computer because I have an idea to enhance a photo in a particular way.
I love that photography takes me to places whether by my own initiative or by commission. A change in scenery is always refreshing and fires up my senses, setting me on a course to capture as much of the beauty around me. It also offers the opportunity to interact with locals wherever I go. I enjoy observing daily the life we think very little of and being able to capture scenes that tell several stories at once. You’ll underestimate the worth of what happens all around you until you critically examine a photograph that freezes moments in time.
Like any love affair, it is not all rosy neither is it easy work. It may look as though anyone who has a camera is worthy of being a photographer, but there are levels to it. It requires expensive investment to better the craft and quality. The practice and trends are ever evolving and one has to keep up lest they render themselves redundant.
It is also difficult to communicate to people, the value or worth of the work. Because it involves human interaction, very frequently you can expect a broken heart from clients who play a fast one on you and don’t hold up their end once service is rendered.
For some people, it is just pictures. Big deal.
Despite the challenges and hazards as with just about every occupation, there is nothing else I would rather be doing. It is in the way it feels. As all glory is fleeting, the high of it is only temporary, so you have to push yourself and your artistry to higher levels. I believe that the day I become complacent in my art as a photographer is when I lose my relevance.
I love photography.
Love is Photography was written by our guest contributor Gerard Nartey. Gerard loves documentaries and loves capturing the African scenery. Check out more pictures on his instagram page: Gerard Nartey