As a writer, I make a living crafting words to show images and scenes, to evoke emotion, to materialize life on the page. As a writer, I want to believe that my words can stand alone on the page.
Yet they cannot.
No matter how well-crafted they are, words are inadequate.
They always have been.
Though it seems unfair that blog posts require images in order to be read, books have always been judged by their covers.
Presently, whenever someone share something clever, has a unique experience, or crafts a compelling scene, the question always becomes: Do you have pictures?
(By the way, let’s connect on Facebook).
As I was walking through the war zone in the rain, snapping a photograph never crossed my mind. Instead, I opted to use my favorite medium (black words on a white page) to express the enjoyment I got from a simple, harmless prank.
Most people in today’s society are visually oriented. Just like a song’s going to stick longer than a sermon, a photo’s going to stick longer than a blog.
In a predominantly visually oriented world, how does one maintain the integrity and dignity of the subjects of photographs?
I’m not talking about the muddy sidewalks. I mean people.
On January 28, 2013, Amber Van Schooneveld for Compassion International posted a great blog about how to photograph children without dehumanizing them.
Among other suggestions and scenarios, Van Schooneveld teaches:
1. Start with a relationship
2. Speak the language
3. Give each child dignity
4. Tell the truth
5. Come out from behind the camera
Her suggestions are not easy yet they’re set to help both photographers and parents.
But what about those moments where level of consciousness, distance, and culture prevent the opportunity to request permission? How about when in order to capture the scene, the photographs must be taken sans permissions? Can a photograph start a relationship rather than the other way around?
I’m all questions today, friends. Help me out.
How do you maintain the integrity of your subjects in photography?
What are you looking for?