What Are We Photographing For?

What’s the plan, Stan? We get a car to drive places. We get a house to live in. We get a chair to sit in. We get a TV to watch shows. We make photographs…

For what?

I know I’ve asked this before but it keeps coming up. What are we making photographs for? Why, what’s the point? What are we going to do with them?

If someone were making a half-dozen napkin rings out of wood, you’d assume they were having a party and needed them.

If someone were writing a letter, either by hand or a typewriter, you’d assume they were going to send it to someone.

If you make a photograph of Half Dome, which I just saw Clyde Butcher on Twitter posted that he did and which is the impetus for this article, what now? What are you going to do with it? Sell it? Print it up for an art gallery sale? Sell it online?

Or just nothing? I see a lot of photographers making work–good work–and not printing any of it and I wonder why. What’s the point? Why are we making it?

For gathering around the hard drive slide shows?

(Clyde actually is making it to print and sell. If you like it, buy a print!)

If someone goes out to buy cat food, I assume they have a cat.

If someone goes out to get a lawnmower, I figure they have grass to mow.

This was printed as a 5×7 and gifted to this beautiful couple last weekend. The reason I made it, so they could have it in their home.

If someone is making photographs, I assume they are printing and hanging them, maybe even selling them. But there’s a plan, right? There’s something that these are meant for, what the point of making them is, right?

We’re not all just shooting to shoot, are we?

Or are we?

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