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because we don't trust our memory

to capture perspectives and moments others will miss

because it's easier than explaining

i think when i see something that i find interesting, i feel that capturing it as an image will help me come back to it whenever i want to (sometimes with new eyes), and perhaps more importantly, share it with others and see what they make of it.

somewhere in all this i guess there's a part of me that seeks affirmation. or perhaps it's just the way i feel right now. :)

visual stimulation is a big part of taking pictures, i think we capture moments that capture us. we want to hold onto it, hoping it provides the same sense of wonder it did when we first found it.

then we provide it on blogs or in research to other people hoping it will have the same effect on them when they first discover it.

but then again, maybe it's like porn videos or pictures and we just like to have it up because it makes us hot whenever we look at it...

Perhaps we take (sometimes) photographs to make it look like we have thought more about projects that we actually have, rather than believing in our ability. So often the first mark we make is the correct one, we then tend to back that up with pictures, photos, thoughts and ideas to make it look like we have been thinking. Sorry for the ramble but there is thought there.
It's all a bit like evaluating before introducing.

an absolute must-read about photographic theory - 'on photography' by susan sontag.

photography is instantaneous and (mostly) democratic - you don't need fantastic drawing skills (or, nowdays, photographic training) in order to communicate something visually.

to create - creation gives people a sense of purpose in life (often augmented/replaced by religion), and photography is one of the most accessible forms of creation...imho...

To cheat death

Oh gosh, what a question! A few years ago I did a big project investigating this very issue. I'm not sure it was my best work, but it was without doubt the project that had the most profound effect on me. It was a project filled with melancholy and made me see the world in a whole new way. Some top of head recollections of what I learnt...

There are different motivations for taking pictures. Some seek to master a skill (more male), others as a kind of creative expression or to capture things that have inspired them. But back then the vast, vast majority pf people were mostly taking pictures to document their lives.

If you look through other people's photo albums - you could generally title them "my fabulous life" or "I have lived". People mostly take, and keep, pictures of happy times. You take a photo to capture a present moment, and instantly it becomes a record the past. In families, women generally take on the role of photo custodian.

Photos are a very social media, we use them to bind us closer to others - to share our experiences, or to capture and relive shared experiences. Young people often talk about 'sharing photos' as being one of the key benefits of social networking sites like Facebook

Our relationship with photography changes through our lives - we could discern patterns that related to preoccupations of different lifestages. People typically went through times when they were more creative, times when they were more concerned with documentation.

“Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man.” Edward Steichen

Photography is a wonderful way of breaking through the words that waren't always reflecting the reality. It gives valuable insights into everyday life and allows to understand better the surrounding world.
We employ the metaphors, which stimulate the working of the mind, help us perceive the world and are the engines of imaginations . We use ca. 6 metaphors per minute of spoken language. Metaphors are simple to use and understand. They are the "primal thought", when we communicate verbally, we simply describe the metaphors occurring in our mind. Metaphors are pictures.


Nice project. Feels multi-dimensional and multi-layered ...

Aid memory recall

Creativity and self-expression

Reflection and introspection

Relive moments and experiences

Document ‘life narrative’ (storytelling)

Communicate a sense of identity to others

And by the way, Russell's friend, perhaps you could align the medium with the message here by using people's photographs from Flickr to tell your story?

We take pictures for the same reason we get married - we want other people to witness our lives.

quite simply, i take photographs because i always wonder "what would that look like as a photograph". there really is no 'greater' purpose for me. it's the after that i then deconstruct and talk about the meaning and story......

i think it's one of those things that helps us be in love with our lives.

something like that.

To be honest, I don't think we take photos to show them to people or to come back to later (at least I don't think I do). I think we take them for some other reason (just a desire to stop time or something), and then show them and enjoy them as a bonus.

The whole art of photography is just a by-product of our will to press a button and stop time.

I think taking pictures contributes to our inner peace. No, don't laugh yet. In fact when I see something expressive, original and worth photographed and I don't have my camera with me I get slightly irritated. And when I do have it, taking a picture that i "must" take calms me down. And the reason why that peace of mind occurs is probably related to the feeling of stopping time or the other things mentioned above.

because life is short, don't waste time on painting. :)

Because 24 still words per second can never create the magic of 24 frames per second.

Because a thousand words need to be written.

Because life can only be picture-perfect, never word-perfect.

Because wordesque sounds grotesque whereas picturesque sounds just the way it is.

Because "Smile please" gives us hope that not all's lost in this big, bad world.

Because we need posters on our walls to tell people who we are.

Because Rocky became on icon on such walls.

Because walls are white, ugly and need some life.

Because life is a picture taken by a camera called time. And it has a very quick shutter. So live each moment as if you were posing for one because you never know what's life clicking away at.

Because this post might never have been needed if there were no pictures in the first place.


I go with the Ray Davies definition:

People take pictures (of each other) just to prove they really existed.

So you can see things like I do.

To create beauty from life.

Or maybe for you Russell:

To create interesting from life.

The same reason we like to keep animals in the zoo or fish in an aquarium ...so that we can indulge ourselves whenever we want to.
we fear that if we don't capture something(in this case the time &/or the experience) we might never be able to find it again

bookmarking ourselfs (in a specific time and space)

Hasn't our relationship with photography changed since we went digital?
We're our own editors, we process our own films and even make our own books.
But while the social lubrication of showing everyone the picture you've taken then and there is even greater than the old Polaroid stuff, don't we miss out on the anticipation of waaiting for our prints? Not knowing how they've turned out? Reliving the moment. Maybe we've lost that element of surprise.
I agreed a lot with Helen's point that our photo albums only show our best side. Has instant editing magnified this?

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