Tag Cloud Courtesy Douglas Weber
On Saturday, I posted this on Twitter: “What is your favorite thing about photography?” I was utterly amazed at the outpouring of response. Twitter is usually a quiet place on Saturdays, but within an hour I had hundreds of responses. It was one of the most illuminating and fulfilling moments I’ve ever participated in on Twitter. It showed me the power of social media to create a real conversation. People got really engaged with this question. More than 500 responded by Sunday. It’s clear this question resonated with many people. I heard from some of photography’s luminaries and brand new shooters, young and old, male and female. To a person, it’s obvious that photography is something many in my audience are truly passionate about. The answers were as detailed, and thoughtful as any I’ve seen on Twitter to any question. In short, my audience made me proud and the quality of the responses gave me an idea for a super cool project which I can’t divulge just yet, but will talk about as soon as I can and it will be tied to this incredible response.
The tag cloud you see above is from just the first hour of the Twitter response to the question. Look at some of the words and their prominence in the answers. Capturing the moment and preserving it for all time was the number one answer to the question. There were many versions of that response, but all seemed to center around the power of stopping time – if only for an instant. It is indeed a powerful thing. The storytelling aspect of photography was a close second.
I’ll share my own thoughts. I am a photographer because I hope to use it to leave a legacy. Not only a personal legacy, but also a legacy of the people and places that make up my images. The fact that my photographs will be here after I am gone forces me to work harder. Each of my photographs tells a story. They are a catalyst for the viewer to use their imagination, to relax or to spark a memory of a special time or place.
This experience and what it means to me is personal, yet many of you share it. I find the entire discussion, and the fact that so many people engaged me over Twitter on this topic sincerely and thoughtfully, uplifting.
I received far too many responses to the question “What is Your Favorite Thing About Photography” to detail all the answers, but I decided it would be appropriate to share a few of those responses with you here. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did, and when things get tough for you, check out this post – hopefully it will remind you why you’re working so hard to be a serious photographer. Thanks to everyone who participated.
Being able to take my camera, walk out the door, and show people the world through my eyes.
Discovering and capturing the beauty in people.
The ability to move people with an image that tells a story of a singular moment in history.
I couldn’t express what im feeling on words most of the time.. I ‘see’ better than i ‘talk’, so photos make life easier.
Paul J Andrews
Being able to make people so happy they cry. Can’t think of many professions /hobbies that can evoke such emotion.
When people see there photos and they get a big smile on their face That is what I enjoy most.
Capturing moments most people would never notice. That’s my favorite thing about photography.
Bring challenged to find beauty and creativity in the normal and ordinary things of life… That most people would overlook 🙂
The ability to capture the beauty of the world exactly the way I see it.
Sharing & saving a beautiful moment in time.