Updated: Aug 9, 2022
When I tell people that I love to go out in the early morning to spend an hour taking photographs the usual follow up question is,
What do you do with all your photos?
It’s a relevant question.
If I say that I don’t really do anything with them, just keep them on my hard drive, it’s not an entirely accurate answer. Yet if I say that I put them in folders according to the month in which they were taken or by topic and use them for blog posts, if I say that I often look back through my photo collection to relive the memory of when they were taken, where I was and who was with me, or if I say that I could spend hours working on a set of photos in Lightroom to get the effect I want, I would lose my listener’s interest very quickly.
But it is still a relevant question, and one which photographer Kim Grant says she is often asked.
In a recent video (link below) Kim gives her answer in a thought- provoking and interesting discussion.
In her video, Kim tells us that she doesn’t sell her prints, she doesn’t often print her images and she doesn’t enter photography competitions. Her YouTube channel and social media are outlets for sharing her images but no doubt, as a very talented photographer, she has hundreds or even thousands of images which her viewers haven’t seen.
Many people would wonder about the point of taking so many images that you do nothing with, but for Kim Grant photography has a different purpose.
To her, photography is about having a tool to connect with nature, it is about experiencing each moment that you capture, it is about using photography to enhance wellbeing.
For Kim, photography is not about what she will do with the final image; it is about the experience of capturing that image, capturing the beauty of nature and being present in the moment of capture.
Kim suggests in her video that her answer to this question might be taking a more philosophical approach to photography, which it does seem to be. It touches on the deeper reasons that many people have for doing photography, and it will appeal to those who view photography as an experience, a journey even, rather than as a means to an end.
This video resonates with me as I have hundreds of photos on my hard drive that seem to be just sitting there. Yet, when I open one of my folders and look at the images I am transported back to another time and place. I re-experience how I felt when I took the original photo.
This may not be the greatest image in the world but it will always remind me of spending time in Portugal, summer 2022 in 37 degree heat. With no rain for months the earth has become parched and the water pump symbolises for me the thirst for water that the local people are feeling.
Often when I look back at photos I see the image in a new way and appreciate aspects of it that I may not have noticed when I first took the photo.
I get great personal satisfaction when I find a unique angle from which to shoot. It doesn't really matter if no-one sees the image; it means a lot to me in terms of my photographic development. In this image I like the way I included different shapes, a leading line and a person at the end of the leading line. I converted it to black and white to give the shapes more emphasis.
Kim Grant's video is inspirational to amateur photographers like myself as it encourages me to keep getting out and taking photos, to enjoy the process and not to focus too much on judging the results.
When I am out with my camera, taking photographs, it is the experience that I enjoy. I feel the joy of being out in nature or in an interesting location doing what I love doing.
Even though most of my images will not be shared or seen by others, their value is in the joy they give at the moment of capture.
The patterns in the sand drew my eye so I had to take the photograph.
The video is thought provoking in that it challenges us to see our photography in a personal way, to question the purpose of why we take photographs and to value the experience of photography and what it adds to our lives.
You might like to check out Kim Grant’s video: What Does Kim Do With All The Photographs She Takes?