In 2021, more than ever, our society will surely still be marked by media overconsumption, especially with the never-ending publications of photos (and videos). 🥴

Photos, photos, more and more photos…

At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man – which I might be a little bit, as I was born in the last century – I have the feeling that many of us take WAY – TOO – MANY pictures!

Because of or thanks to technological progress that has made photography affordable and instantly available across the world, within just a few clicks. Because of or thanks to an everyday item in particular: the smartphone.

What about you? How many times a year do you look at the photos you took during your last vacation?

Being everywhere, our smartphones seem to have multiplied in all of us the fear of missing any small event in our lives, whatever their value, pushing us to photograph anything and everything. In other words, I think our exponential production of photos has been accompanied by a proportionate loss of value.

What if we slowed down?

The more people fear to miss a shot, the less they ask themselves this essential question, before pressing the shutter button: Why are we photographing a specific subject? And why should we take photos of the very same subject up to several dozens of times, almost all identical, down to the pixel, without ever removing the numerous useless duplicates?

And you, how many duplicate photos did you save without sorting them, on your smartphone or PC, last year?

The reason for all of this hides in one word: the film.

I am everything but nostalgic for film photography. Nevertheless, I regret that its near-extinction took with it an essential element at the origin of any photo or piece of art: INTENTION.

But let’s get back to that good old film.

By becoming digital, photography got rid of the quite expensive photo films. Alas, it also gradually took away this “intention” and, as a direct consequence, the core value of photography.

In those ancestral analog times, we all thought twice before each shot because we knew the price of film and its development in a photo lab. By removing these costs and by getting multiplied to infinity, photography has ended up losing most of its value, be it artistic, documentary or just entertaining.

What if we got inspired by this rarity which was specific to film to give back its worth to photography?

In my opinion, this philosophy of rarity is a prerequisite for anyone who wants to progress in photography. This is also one of the lessons that I like to share in my Brussels photography trainings – for smartphones or DSLRs. Less photos, more reflection and quality.

What if we printed again?

Another way to add value to your photos is to print them out. Yes, I’m talking about photos on this good old paper, like in the previous century, but in a better way. Until the advent of digital, we had no choice but to print photos on paper, often in a small format. The bravest among us even took the time to paste them into photo albums.

In 25 years, cameras are not the only ones which have become affordable. Printing has also experienced a small revolution. In 2021, there’s no more need to do some amateur collages in XXL photo albums that will fill up entire shelves! Anyone can, within a few clicks from their living room, create and print a beautiful book with their vacation or family photos.

No one will tell me the opposite: a photo book in a bookcase looks much better than a collection of files called IMG_001 & co gathering dust at the bottom of your hard drive!

This is also why I systematically offer my clients, for whom I photograph a family event, to create a custom photo book. Obviously, this item implies additional costs, which clients rarely think of when they search for a family event or wedding photographer. Sadly as a photo book guarantees you a series of small joys…

the joy of remembering by flipping through this baptism, this wedding or this anniversary…
the joy of sharing these slices of life with your loved ones, on a long lasting medium…
the joy of transmitting to your descendants all of these life events which mark a family…

So many little joys whose emotional value is priceless.

Let’s give back meaning to photography!

Sometimes, old is gold. What about you who love photography, what are you doing to ensure that it retains its value and its raison d’être?


Photo source: Pixabay