Why Do You Make a Photograph?

I have an either/or question: Why do you make a photograph?

Is it to make a photograph that people will like? Hit the heart button on Instagram? The Like Thumbs Up on Facebook? Is that your delivery medium?

Is it to make a photograph that needs to exist in the world? That hangs on a wall, be it a museum or gallery or a simply a living room or kitchen.

Those are two very different reasons to be making photographs. Which is it for you?

This photograph of Dave, an 88-year-old Ford Model T collector and mechanic, I made because it matters that it exists. I made it for his great-great-grandchildren, so they will have a sense of who he was.

And for his family today, to have in their home.

It’s an actual photograph, one that is printed, signed and framed and gifted to him. Because a digital file simply won’t exist five generations from now. It just won’t. Period.

If not for me, it wouldn’t exist.

It may not get a plethora of likes from the digital world. I would expect his family will like it like no one else can.

I make work that needs to exist. That needs me to create it.

This portrait is part of a series that will be featured in a 2021 gallery exhibit, and also part of a Gifted Art Portrait Project. You can contribute to it to buy film, if you would like to.

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