Cartier-Bresson said it right! No matter what a person is doing– walking down the street, facebooking, or reading a magazine, when a photograph gets into their field of vision, it’s an instinct to look at it. The second someone looks at a photo, they will have a reaction. If someone is looking through a newspaper, usually stories with a photo will get the most attention.They might think, “hey, that’s a nice car,” if they see an ad in their magazine. A photo of their friend’s cute dress on Facebook might make them “like” the picture. Some pictures might be seen and ignored. But sometimes, a photo will be more than these basic reactions. Sometimes, a photo can make you feel something deeper inside. A photo that evokes a true emotion, be it happiness, anger, or depression are the photos that will be remembered, if only for a little while.
It’s hard for me to separate my role as a viewer and as a photographer. Because I am so immersed in the world as a photographer, I can’t look at a photo as a viewer might. When I see one of those emotion-evoking photos, I stop and ask myself, what is this photo trying to tell me? What is the story? Why should I feel this emotion? And as a photographer, I know that my photos should be conveying these same ideas to the viewer. That is my responsibility and my obligation to the world: To tell a story with just one or multiple images. There are stories all around me. Without photographs, however, those stories may never be noticed.