Why We Love Photography


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photoselecThere are certainly scientific studies and explanations why we love photos and it will be most likely something about how our brain processes information or some sort of logical reasoning. But lets look at it from the practical and emotional side, although one cannot separate them, also emotions need to be processed.
For what reason are we taking photos in the first place? We want to capture the moment; the moment with friends, the moment with family, the moment on holiday, the moment we saw the sweet puppy, the moment the baby was born, the moment we saw a beautiful flower. We want to capture the awe, the happiness, the memory, the beauty, all what moves us, all what brings our feelings in motion, emotions. We don’t think about it, we just snap it. When we want to explain something complex we use images and a moment of happiness is something complex and somehow we know that talking about it wouldn’t do it, words are not enough. We need the image to capture a moment in all its dimensions and it is faster too. So we are lazy? We are efficient. Taking a photo is time and energy saving while at the same time misunderstanding is reduced to a minimum.
And there might be something else. When we capture a moment we make this moment eternal, we can take it with us, we can hold it in our hands, we can look at it as often as we want, we make it visible and physical although that moment has gone already, sometimes for a long time. Yet when we look at the photo we are back in that moment, we can smell the sea, taste the food, feel what we felt at that moment and know exactly where and when it was and who was with us. It’s all in the picture.
And not only with the photos we take ourselves. When are looking at pictures others took we are in the moments they captured, we feel them, experience them and then we want to know where it was or when it was or whom it was. We tap into experiences of others and get moved by the same awe or happiness or sadness. We can share and receive feedback; we are not alone.

Ute Sonnenberg
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