Beauty in photography: A misconception?

By Iylia Marsya Iskandar

For some, spending over RM200 for a self-portrait is considered as something ordinary, while for others it is a luxury. With the current rising living standards, photography is deemed to be a high demand profession.

Over the past century, the photography genre has evolved successfully from only capturing portraits using negatives to capturing moving photos digitally. Freelance photography is considered the “go-to” job for fresh graduates as some see it as easy and profitable.

Three words that pop out of my head when I hear the word photography – glam, adventure, money. The photography community has led people to believe that everyone can be a photographer, all the while concealing the fact that it takes a lot of hard work, perseverance and energy.

“There’s not much to photography, you just find the right angle and shoot,” said a first year student. Many people fail to see photography as the art of our times. In the older centuries, there were only drawings and paintings of many kinds but with the rise in technological advancement, we now have cameras, which is better than any other medium to depict human life.

Yes, the lighting is crucial too in order to capture a great photo but there is nothing as bad light. The most adverse weather makes the most beautiful photos! There are skills involved in capturing images that will speak to the viewers and arouse a reaction.

As the famous quote says, “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching and of loving.” Society has perceived photography as a quick job with only one click of your DSLR or iPhone, now everyone is a photographer! When in reality, when you capture the image of a person, you are not just capturing the beauty of the said person but you are capturing the essence of the person as well.

One of the biggest misconceptions of photography is beauty.

Let’s take for example, a dandelion. When you see a dandelion dancing in the wind, glazed by the hot sun at the golden hours of the day, you would want to stare at it, you would want to remember it, to admire it and photograph it. You would want to photograph it because you believe that this dandelion’s beauty is something that everyone should enjoy.

With a click of your DSLR and boom! You get a beautiful dandelion.

No.

The beauty in photography lies not on the subject.

Photography lies so much more than the subject. If one is to define photography just based on the technical terms, everyone can master it.

Beauty in photography is when you can take something ordinary, and capture it in a way which is uniquely beautiful. It is your own style that sets you apart from other photographers – not the subject.

“With wedding photography, you can explore more than just poses. You can bring it to the next level by doing creative shots,” said the owner of tiedtheknot whom Instagram posts of wedding photos keep on getting viral for its creativity.

Being a photographer requires one to have an identity. Wedding photography, for example, is not only mundane shots by the altar that is to be put in a photo-book but it is also a moment for couples to cherish their start of a life together and it is a wedding photographer’s job to make it memorable.

The next time you think being a photographer is a simple and non-taxing job, think again! You can have a good eye for composition and aesthetic, but anyone can take a picture, not everyone can take a great photograph. It takes discipline, and a lot of personal style.

Besides, if photography is a piece of cake, wouldn’t everyone be creating their own wedding albums which will blow us all away? ***

Photo credit to Peter McKinnon

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