Do you ‘shoot’ or do you ‘create’ your photographs?
This might seem like an odd question but lately I’ve found myself using the words ‘make’, ‘create’ or ‘take’ whenever I talk about photography. This change in language goes beyond the philosophical issue of what we do when we pick up a camera; my reasons are a reflection of current events.
Every time I think of the word ‘shoot’ I think about recent events that dominate the United States’ national conversation. If you’ve been following along on this blog for any length of time you know I’m against violence in toy photography and I’m against guns. Not because guns are inherently bad, but because we’ve proven over and over again with our actions that we can’t handle the responsibilities that come with gun ownership.
How we got here is complicated and it’s going to take some time, some hard hitting questions, true honesty and a commitment to change our attitude towards our fellow man. None of which I will even begin to take on right now because this is a photography blog.
The situation is so awful, so mind numbing, so incomprehensible – that it has made me aware of the words I use.
I don’t shoot photos, I create photographs.
I’ve always thought about it as you take a picture but you shoot a photograph. What you are saying here popped into my head the other day because I was thinking about ‘shooting downtown’ and then I started thinking about the Republican convention that will be here soon. They wanted to use a room in the building where I work to monitor social media for threats. So I’m also trying to break from saying ‘shooting.’ I like the idea is photographs being ‘captured.’ I’m going to try to make that my default word because much of the time I don’t feel like I’m creating anything, just drawing attention to something that already exists.
I like capture, thats a great word. When I was photographing underwater I always felt I was capturing a moment. I certainly wasn’t creating or making that moment, which is what I do with the plastic. Its nice to know Im not the only one who did a double take in their head around that word.
Gonna be reeeeeeeaaaaaally interesting to see how that thought plays out on IG.
I’m pretty sure this post will drop into the water and not even leave a ripple. Thanks for leaving your comments so I know at least one person read it! xo
I read it too! 🙂 I stopped saying “shoot” a few years ago. At that time I was taking a lot of photos of gymnastics competitions and saying “I’m off to shoot gymnastics” started to sound very weird to me. Now I keep it simple and I just say “I’m taking photos” 🙂
It does sound weird! Along the same lines, whenever I hear anyone use the phrase ‘flash gun’ I do a double take. :0
Interesting post! Never been thinking about it, but then again I’m from Sweden. But yes, create and capture are great words to use. I capture images of nature and I create images of toyphoto. Thanks, you made me think
It not surprising that this is a US phenomenon. But create, make, capture – are all better words and describe what we do more accurately. Lets hope the situation that lead to the US problem doesn’t spread!
Let’s keep our fingers crossed on that. We still got laws on how you van buy and own weapons, and that is for sport and hunting..what I know of.
We have laws too Stefan.
I know, sorry if that came out wrong
No worries. Over the past two years, as I’ve conversed with more people outside of the US, I’ve gotten a pretty good idea of how we’re perceived.
You see how much I know, got lots to learn
You’re not alone in your concern here, Shelly. I too have been contemplating this lately. When speaking to a photography friend recently, he said, “Mostly I shoot lots of people.” My mind IMMEDIATELY went to gun violence, not photography. I hadn’t really thought of it before, but in light of the recent horrifying events going on in this country, it really stuck out to me.
Too bad it’s not the other way around. I wish that people would hear the word “shoot” and think of photography instead 🙁
James, wouldn’t that be a nice twist! I’m pretty sure this choice of words issues, is a US phenomena. Lucky us! 😛