Creative Value

 Kaycee, WY: Photography by Seth Lowe, 2015. Cowboy life in Wyoming.

Creating something is one of the most rewarding experiences a human can have. There is something magical about experiencing what you have envisioned come to life in the physical form. Digital photography is probably the quickest pay off in the creative process. Technology has largely automated the technical aspect, and software allows us to easily correct a lot of mistakes. Unlike a painting that may take months to complete, or a song that may take countless hours and other people to help write and record properly, the amount of time it takes between picking up a camera to getting a few dozen likes online is pretty minimal. That statement isn't at all intended to take away from the many years and thousands of hours that many masters of photography have spent refining their craft. I’m also not here to argue wether photography industry has been financially weakened because of this, but rather, has our potential creative joy been robbed because of it?

The more time and energy we invest into something, the more satisfaction we will experience from it, with that satisfaction being specifically derived from the creative act itself, regardless of someone else liking it or not. If the value of what we are creating is ultimately defined by the immediate response of others, we are robbing ourselves of a truly fulfilling and lasting creative experience. The question we should ask ourselves when picking up a camera isn't "what can I get from it," but, "what can I give to it.” What would it look like if we shot our own way, searching out what our own voice and contribution to photography could be, rather than following Instagram and Pinterest recipes? How do we interpret and perceive the world around us, and then project that back out through the camera. How are we viewing the camera as our blank canvas to carefully and purposely create our masterpiece with, rather than a paint by number guide to having a popular Facebook page? When our view as creatives shift to “what can I give,” how we approach the creative process changes drastically, and in turn, our creative fulfillment becomes greater through the process. 

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