Opinion piece on current photography trends
I read the article below on July 22nd, & felt completely compelled to share my opinion on the subject.
I’m not saying my opinion is gold, but I'm not going to hold my tongue on this issue. YES, issue.---
I met my saving grace in high school: photography. My camera fueled a fire within me to go explore uncharted territory, alone. I learned a lot about the peace in solitude when you are working within a passion, witnessing life before you as is while discovering your likes and dislikes, and most of all, the beauty and awe of natural settings including plants & animals, sunsets, snow, and all in between.
When I started college, we were asked to take portraits for some assignments to gain exposure to all types of photography & that led me down the rabbit hole of learning how to photograph people, and the once exciting task of finding unique places to do so, or unique ways to make "boring" places have life. Toledo felt so small and so empty, and I honestly loved that. Though that sounds romantic, in hindsight, I was lost in my own imagination & lacked true awareness of my surroundings. Due to this lack of awareness, and honestly, lack of respect, I saw the world as my playground and made some risky and ungracious decisions because of it.
Regretfully, I admit I've been responsible in the past for executing some of the examples witnessed in the article below. Luckily, the anti-trend rebel that lives inside me started to sniff out that +MY+ passion was trending. Soon after well-developed cameras on phones started meeting the quality standard of brand-name cameras, you no longer needed to ask your parents for that special Nikon on your birthday or graduation. You also no longer needed to save many months worth of income at a job you didn't care about.
The people responsible for the actions stated in this article did not ask for my opinion. In fact, this one-dimensional marketing crap is only asking for the SAME opinions every post: "OMG, you're perfect! Your hair is GOALZ!!!!!! Ahhh, that dress & you are stunning! Your skin is flawwwwlessssss! I wish I had your body!" My personal favorite? "What?????? Where is this?!?!" This one typically means, I want to go there and take MY picture there.
To clarify my understanding of one of the valuable points in this article, those privately-owned lavender fields were not created for you to go stomping through with your 4 outfits and half-baked, witless ideas. Luckily for these people & some tourists, France has a law against bearing arms. But, for other situations that these individuals create for a social media trend and plastic way to showcase living, I hope that they don't have to learn the hardest way like some of the statistics shown about death by selfie.
Yes, the trends are not only annoying & harmful, but they are imposing on SACRED land meant to be enjoyed and fully experienced with RESPECT.
I'm feeling myself fuel up as I try to carefully articulate a very heated topic for me. I've seen MASS idiocracy in the news lately, and I'm so completely confused! People taking "sexy" photos at Chernobyl or other disaster sites? People throwing rocks at pandas to "get them to do something" because they are "BORED?" Two guys cutting off a shark's tail and LAUGHING?! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!?
EVERYONE is responsible! At some point or another, we've all been fed the feel-good juice of a selfie. At some point or another, I'm sure we've all fantasized about the proposed life in front of us on the screen and thought what it could be like, even desired it. Some of us luckily saw the repetition soon enough and fell out of the spell, but most are feeding the beast of narcissism and insecurity with likes and comments of praise.
I've heard the phrase "parenting doesn't come with a rule book" often enough. Well, neither does social media. But, it's apparent day by day that maybe more need to be attempted and ENFORCED! And, though it seems tempting to propose this only for my peace of mind, it's mostly needed to learn how to respect and protect our Mother Earth & all the sacred creatures that can't use a thoroughly understood language to fight for themselves.
Since Facebook will probably never enforce this, I'd like to make a suggestion. Before you make a post, take 5 minutes to think about what it is you really want to say, and just as we were proposed to do in college, think about your AUDIENCE. If you are the strong and silent type on Facebook or Instagram, speak up once in awhile! I'm sure you've witnessed enough bullshit to really make a mark!
It's obvious I feel disgusted, and I know now that I've said enough.
No conclusion to make a call to action other than STOP! STOP DOING THINGS THAT ARE HURTING A LARGE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY AND LAND AND ANIMALS. You have more depth than that. We believe in you. And, the depth you share might not get you 50K likes, but don't worry, those are mostly robots anyway.