(Book Sadprasid/AQ)

When I was 12 years old, I wanted to play with everything. I took my dad’s DSLR camera and went on an exchange to Denmark. I thought it was just a toy. But when I started uploading my first set of photos into my computer, I could see the beauty on my screen. Through the lens, I could see details of light and the world in a new way – something beyond what I would normally see.

(Book Sadprasid/AQ)
(Book Sadprasid/AQ)

That’s when I realized photography is an art.

But in light of the recent firing of the Brunswick News journalists, I wonder how many people still value photography as an art— perhaps no one.

No matter where someone is in the world, they can take pictures. Cameras are attached to every phone on the market. Nowadays, you can get semi-professional cameras for cheap. Photography has become a common thing. However, the more common it is, the less value society gives to a well-taken photograph.

“That’s a really nice picture. You must have got a really good camera,” said one of my friends. That was a hurtful compliment.

Undoubtedly, photography has been devalued by the improvement of technology. Most people think good pictures are a result of a good camera and not the photographer’s skills.

Being part of a photography club in high school, I noticed that many members spent significant amount of their parents’ money on buying expensive cameras that they couldn’t afford. They believe an expensive camera will help them become a better photographer. Even the people who call themselves photographers tend to believe that cameras and technology are more important than the photographers themselves.

I admit I own a high-end camera, but one thing you should know is that I never consider the camera an important object in photography. I don’t actually use a camera to photograph. I use my heart and my eyes.

I fell in love with photography when I discovered how wonderful it is as a story-telling art. Photography can convey messages that words can’t. There are no language barriers in photography. Everyone can interpret photographs. That’s incredible.

In today’s society, the popularity of photography is rising but the value of the art is not. Not only are we losing the value, but we are forgetting why photography is so important – it is the art of creating images or stories by recording light, and showing us new perspectives.

I once dreamt of becoming a professional photographer. I hoped a career in photography would open me to the wider world. I’m still curious to see the world through the lens, but unfortunately, I have to walk away from my dream and into reality.

No one needs to hire photographers anymore.