Yesterday I went to a photography event made by famous bloggers/photographers from our country. There wasn’t much detail given about what we were going to do or hear about, only some names and the mentioning of a performance by some artist.
I had expectations for some tips and tricks for better photographs and beyond that, only curiosity.
When I and my friend got there, we found out that the event was going to be divided in two. One part of it was hosted inside and the workshop was going to be outside – a terrace filled with printed photos made with the telephone.
I have to say that before this event, I had prejudices about Instagram photographers, in the form that I really liked their pictures but didn’t expect them to have anything to talk about besides that. I was convinced that the new age of image brought through social media is one which is going to render the notion of “professional photographer” useless.
I like Instagram photos, don’t get me wrong, I think it makes people more sensitive to beauty, even if it is the rawest kind of beauty that earth has to offer and the human brain can perceive. I even like superficial people who are at least careful to make themselves and the places they live in beautiful.
Ok, so now that I’ve told you a bit about the thoughts that I walked in with, let me tell you what actually happened there. The speech from inside was given by a blogger who talked about how he started taking photos and how much he started to prefer the phone over a professional camera. He made a couple of jokes and that was it. His entire speech said nothing about photography, that any medium educated person wouldn’t know.
After that followed the communication manager of Samsung, the one from our country’s headquarters. She was presented as a speaker who is going to unravel to us the secrets of why Samsung has invested so much in making their phone cameras so efficient. She also made an introduction that referenced to that. Her speech also turned out to be an ode to nothing. She only said that she can’t take pictures professionally but really wants to take pictures that matter to her, somehow saying that the brand builds instruments for keeping memories – just like all the bad, uncreative, all repeating, brainless, phone adds.
This is when the performance came in. I started reading about the artist on the internet as he was performing. I don’t know how many of the people there have heard about or seen performances in the past, given that they were mostly corporate and agency material, but my background in art academics has made me familiar with all kinds of performances and so I’ve grown to expect nothing from this, let’s say forced, form of art.
My bad prejudices were again met with this guy who let some speeches about freedom run in the background as he gestured, then started dancing in a choreography about how speech and free thinking is censured. I found it mediocre, as his dance moves were somewhat trained, but as a personal creation of his and a spectacle, it was totally outdated and it brought nothing new to the scene.
I really don’t appreciate art which stakes more on savage exteriorizing than on the creativity that sparks the subject, or the script, or the scene, or the painting, or whatever. He danced a dance we all know and our feet are sore from dancing before.
Plus, it really had nothing to do with the subject, as making Instagram photos have never supported any other kind of cause than those that had something to do with a beautiful sight. It is not communicating but more expressing a common likeness for pretty pictures. His corporal extravagance was futile and had nothing original. Despite it, I really enjoyed reading about his life online as he was performing. He was an engineer who turned actor overnight.
The workshop broke my first expectation when the speaker said he knows nothing about the composition or rules of photography and that he only does what he feels like. He presented a series of photos taken by him at different events and told us why he prefers the phone. The only useful information we got from him was a list of three applications we can use for editing. Other than that, he mentioned that you can eventually monetize this hobby but only after a long time.
Unfortunately, this event really proved my point about the Instagram famous people. It is a beautiful hobby that they practice, which helps express themselves in a very accessible way and have other people admire their content. Now that we got around to this term again, “content”, the expression that the workshop speaker used was really what made me write this article.
He said that you get more followers depending on how much quality content you post. A person from the audience had a filler question – which is more important, to post well-edited photos or good content.
I think it concerns social responsibility to know where a domain finds its limits so that there are no further resources spent on its fake dimensions.
Photography has proven that it can surpass its professional side with the new high-quality cameras tied to the most accessible devices, phones. The argument whether a photograph is an art or not has been lost in history, unanswered because the voice of the people said it is not a question we want to be answered.
As opposed to other mediums, photography can forget this debate and only be represented by what people like, no matter its ideological context. We can all agree on a photograph we like and most of those can be taken with a phone. As the speaker I mentioned said, there is no composition rule tied to it anymore because people are not interested in constructed composition, but in an instinctive one. That is what photography is today and there is no more to say about it.
All that being said, quality content is not a word that can be used in this domain. There is no difference between quality content and well-edited photos. The latter is the content and it has only one criterion of appreciation, personal likeness.
People can argue about its merits for how long they want, it is a fact. But let’s not make of it what is not. There no additional explanations we need to add through events, speeches or academic debates. You take nice pictures, you edit them with a program and if people like them, they will show it by clicking the like button.
Some organizations may pay you to collaborate with them from time to time if you have good reaching numbers, but only those organizations which act in the field of beautiful photography with or without a product.
The discussion was just as useless as the performance. Say something only when you have something to say, and do it creatively only if you think this will help get your message over. Don’t do thing just for the sake of it, accept facts as they are and build from there.
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