Social Media and the New Photography

Social media has a bad rap. It’s full of great family photos but it has a whole lot of misinformation and even dangerous content. I think that’s why people are afraid if you take their photograph with a real camera, like if you’re a street photographer, because they don’t know where their photo might end up.

I was watching a lecture with Richard Sandler from a series made at the School of Visual Arts and he talked about how people are more worried nowadays than when he was making photos in New York in the 70s and 80s, because there was no social media they might end up on.

As I previously wrote about, we used to make photos for our friends, our families, they weren’t world documents. They were local memories and they stayed local. The same is true for photographers working today, the rise of social media has taken on a negative tone (at least that’s how I perceive it) and people are more reluctant to be have their photo shown on it. How has that affected what work isn’t being made? And what work is being shown, and how is that affecting how we see the world–“If everyday people are living the good life, why is my life so boring?”

Anyway, Richard Sandler talks about why we still need to photograph people, including children and homeless and the only ethics of documenting life on the street is what you can get away with. To show the world the world.

Street photographers have always been the eyes of the world documenting who we are today.

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