The majority of people in these days can take a photograph with a click of their finger. Whether it is a professional photographer with a professional kit or someone using a smart phone camera, the internet is ablaze with more pictures than ever and because of it we get a better understanding of those close to us and their lives. In this way, photography changes the perception we have of how others live. It allows us to realise that we aren't alone in our struggles or take ideas on how to make daily routines easier. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to changing perceptions with photography.
Photography is a tool given to us so that we can explore. There are certain things that only happen once in a lifetime or that we only get to see once in a lifetime so having the opportunity to capture it and keep it with us is a gift. This is where you can easily tell the difference between everyday photography and professional photography. The average person taking a picture will surely be able to capture something wonderful but a professional photographer will be able to capture something that allows us to time travel to another land, another time or a complete fantasy altogether. Professional photos have not just changes perceptions; they have changed lives.
Some of the world's best photographers have risked their lives to bring us some of the most fantastic images. Many have ended up in prison, with life threatening illnesses and are constantly bombarded with terrible weather conditions and nowhere hospitable to sleep. However, because of their passion for photography the way we think about certain subjects could have changed completely. This may include religion, countries, nature, animals and much, much more. Just as a book can teach us something we didn't know, so can a photograph. In this way, we must all be open to learning and the photographer must be a seeker of new knowledge. For many photographers this means having to sit and study the subject or ask questions of people being photographed. To change other people's perceptions, they have to be able to change their own first or the message would be lost.
In many ways, it is our responsibility to take event photographs for the things that mean something to us. Just as we write about major events, like war, elections and royalty and we watch our children learn about them in history books, we can also document these events with photographs. You may be lucky enough to capture an image of an animal that may be extinct in fifty years for future generations to refer to. Now, more than ever, as our world rapidly changes, it is important to preserve the best of what we have and show the worst in the hope that we evolve in the right way.
It only takes one picture to send a message that not even a thousand words could say. It's why so many charities use images of starving children rather than explain that they are starving because the image hits us much harder and their appeal has a greater reaction. To see something for ourselves is to be there, in their shoes, in their parent's shoes and to feel empathy, saddened and most importantly the need to want to help. A picture can evoke multiple emotions at the same time and we would never change our perceptions as quickly as we do now without them.