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Why We Photograph

Why We PhotographPhotography is a part of the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the globe. The widespread availability and ease of owning a camera is a product of the digital age – and aren’t we all so fortunate for it. Whether you have a simple point and shoot to capture family moments and day to day ramblings or a multi-thousand dollar medium format with a digital back for large production advertising, photography touches all of us. It begs the question, why do we photograph?

For some it’s as necessary as breathing. It’s as much a part of who we are as the clothes we wear, the music we listen to, the friends we associate with and the values we hold dear. It’s who we are. To others it’s an enjoyable hobby or past-time – a great way to spend some free time or a way to capture little family moments. Whatever your personal level of involvement in photography is, taking photos is something we all love to do.

Perhaps there is a deeper psychological explanation. Our time on this earth only lasts for so long, and a camera allows us to preserve memories far past when they might have slipped our mind. It helps us pass those memories into the hands of future generations. Our photos are little legacies of the life we have led – our travels, experiences, food, family, friends, work relationships and more. Each photo is a window into a moment, and the collections of images we take over the years are a window into who we were and what we valued. Ultimately it comes down to a simple truth – seeing that moment captured makes us genuinely happy.

Photography should make you happy. Never let someone impede on your personal happiness. You love HDRs and someone else doesn’t – who cares? You are enamored with landscapes but your friends think they’re droll – don’t let it bother you. You’re a fashion nut but no one gets your style – just keep being you. Enjoy your photography for what it is – your own. Know that not everyone will appreciate it, but if it personally fulfills you, that’s all that truly matters. Be true to yourself and you’ll never regret a day of your life.

Share with us, why it is you photograph.

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Matt Dutile

Matt Dutile is a New York City based travel and lifestyle photographer. He recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce a book on Mongolian nomads. Check the page out to learn more. You can view his website or join in on his Facebook page as well.

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