“Photography does not create eternity, as art does. It embalms time, rescuing it simply from its proper corruption.” -André Bazin
I started this week talking about the non-photographers I love, the ones who bring some everyday beauty in my life and Instagram feed, and I’m ending this week with some talk about professional photography, and the photographers I love following.
I know that I came down a little hard on people with overly perfect pictures the other day, just as I came down on people who throw hashtags around without thinking last week. I do keep my feed mostly free of “stylists” as a personal preference in what I find most interesting and enjoyable, but I do love following some good photographers. Some of them, like my friend Susannah, I follow both because they are good, and because I am genuinely interested in their personal life. But there are others I follow just because their work gets what photography is about.
There is no shortage of excellent photographers in the world. Especially in this digital age, where everyone with a camera or phone is a “photographer.” We have diluted the term until it means almost nothing. I have watched friends build photography businesses, seen the work behind it all, and I am careful to inform people when they ask me to photograph their weddings or families: I am not running a professional operation. I am a former art student who stumbled into this because she loves beautiful things, loves true things, loves the way that art teaches us just a little more about life.
And because I love these things, I love following people who are masters at producing this sort of art. I read that Bazin quote at the top of this post during my first year of grad school and it has stuck with me. Photography seizes a moment from the degradations of time and holds it in a sort of perfected memory. A good photo allows us to relive how we felt in that moment, not just how it looked. Which is why, in all my harshness about suffocating beauty and perfection, I still follow lots of professional photo-takers. It isn’t the glossy finish that’s that problem, it’s when the polished scene has had all the emotion, all the life, scrubbed out of it that I wrinkle my nose in distaste.
I love photos that show things that are real, even if some posing was involved. I love photographers who capture moments beyond merely staging them. I love artists who embrace all the colors, textures, and light that this world has to offer. I love when I’m scrolling through my feed and a photo passes by, not merely a pretty picture, but one that reminds me why all of us are out there holding phones over our dinner, snapping away: We want to save these moments.
@adventureweddingphotogs // Jen and Chris intersperse beautiful travel pictures with perfect quotes and gorgeous couples. Just the right balance for my literary soul.
@_whitneyneal // Ok, so really I have just been a Whitney-fangirl every since she photographed my wedding, and you should all probably jump on the fangirl(boy) train too.
@arianatennyson // I think I’m in love with every photo this girl has ever posted. In a world where everyone is going lighter, Ariana photographs her subjects in that perpetual light just before sunset or right at dawn – warm light with darkness hovering around it.
@perryvaile // I found her when I was helping my brother look for a wedding photographer and DREAMY is the only word to describe her images.
I always love finding new photographers to follow… who are you loving?
PS: All of my own [much lesser talented and legit] photography tips and FAQs can be found here, though starting this spring I did switch cameras so it maybe needs a tiny upgrade.