Story and photography by Darwin Wiggett
I recently found myself pondering a rather strange question: Would I still photograph if I could never share the resulting images with another soul? This thought got me thinking about why people photograph in the first place. Certainly we do so to share our memories, stories, travels and life events with others. Without an audience to view our pictures, what’s the point of making photos? Indeed, among art circles there’s the contention that for art to exist there has to be a ‘connection.’ You can’t have connection without an audience. By this logic art can only exist if there’s someone beyond the artist to view it.
The point here is not to debate whether art needs an audience to be art, but rather to get to the fundamental question of why we photograph, or why create in the first place. Beyond recording memories and experiences, I suspect we photograph for many different reasons, just like people write or paint or compose music for many different reasons. And as with other art forms, I think we photograph because of internal and external motivations at heart.
To read more of Darwin’s column on Would You Photograph if You Couldn’t Share, and to read more of this issue please pick up the Summer/Fall 2016 (#38) issue of OPC. Or to never miss an issue please SUBSCRIBE today!