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Photography – “That’s not real art.”
By: Paige J., Teen Press Corps Member

I’m a photographer. However, more often the once I’ve been told that I’m not. Photography is too easy and anyone that can press a button can do it. At least that’s what I’ve been told. I remember once showing my friend photos that I was really proud of; I was excited to show him since he’s an artist as well. I remember eagerly waiting a response. I also remember the hurt that came with that response. “So? That’s so easy.”

I tried to explain my point, because I wanted him to know that it wasn’t easy, at least not to me. He told me there’s no point to taking pictures, because if I wanted a picture, I could just go to Google. I “wasted” my money investing in a camera when instead I could “just take pictures on a phone.”

I’d be lying if I said that what he said didn’t affect me or didn’t make me doubt myself. I wondered if I wasn’t as good as I hoped. Maybe I was just fooling myself. But he’s wrong. Art in any form isn’t always easy, and it should be celebrated. Someone worked hard to make it.

My photos are more than just pictures on a cell phone. I want to capture a perfect moment that won’t be forgotten. That takes a lot of waiting, anticipating, and doing. And I’ll probably have only 100 good photos out of every 1,000 that I take, but I’m ok with that. When I post a photo that I’ve taken, especially if it’s of my classmates, I pride myself on the fact that I gave them a picture they wouldn’t have had before.

Someone’s art is special to them, and some people won’t understand it, but that doesn’t give them a right to judge it. If a person is told that his or her art is “easy” or that “anyone can do that,” then someone’s creative mind is being discouraged. In art, there is no greater crime then discouraging a passion for creativity.

*Paige’s article is part of a multi-part series from Teen Press Corps Members.  Read more articles like this one here.

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