harnessing the power of photography for good

A Million Little Pictures


those who know me, know that i tend to repeat myself, especially when it comes to things im passionate about.  one of the things ive been known to say is “a bad picture is a bad picture” and of course “a good picture is a good pictue.”  simple, yes.  but the rest of the story has to do with your creativity and vision.  david du chemin has a saying i totally agree with, he says “gear is good, vision is better.”  combine my little statement w his…and i will say give me a disposable film camera,  take a picture thats compelling and has emotional power, it moves me…. its worth more than all the latest camera gear and megapixels out there today. 

back in the day of wooden tennis rackets, i had a jack kramer autograph model, pro tennis was about skill, intelligence, accuracy, control, and physical ability.  the rackets didnt offer much of an advantage over the guy or gal on the other side of the net.  you had to rely on the other stuff you brought to the court.  today, professional tennis is more about fitness, power, and technology.  the rackets have advanced the game of tennis so much that a player w more strength and power + the right racket, can dominate a player w more skill and ability.  the perfect example is martina hingis.  she dominated tennis w skill, finesse, and cunning, all the way to the world #1 ranking.  along comes venus & serena williams.  they were bigger and stronger and used very powerful rackets and they literally were able to beat their opponents off the court w their power.  hingis couldnt compete w their power.  she would would continue to win games & matches against the likes of the williams sisters and others like them w more power.  but she no longer would dominate the game and would soon fall from the top of the womens game.

i say all this to illustrate the point that its nice to have cool cameras, lenses, and gear.  but in the end, its still about the image!

the masters of photography who have come before us… created countless memorable images using film and gear that many of us today would look down on.  i recently read a blog by david du chemin, where he talked about the blurring of the line between professional and amateur photographer.  much of that having to do with digital cameras, he says new cameras are so good practically anyone can now shoot like a pro; a claim that debases our craft and dishonors the work we all put in to be the best visual storytellers we can be.”   you can see his full blog entry HERE.

again, its about the image.  its not easy to take a picture that has true emotional power.  i dont care if you can compose a technically perfect picture, properly exposed and framed, if its boring its boring, who cares.  talking to people over the years of being involved w the photoministry at the rock, ive heard stuff like, when i get the right camera, or lens, then i will be able to take better pictures. thats just an excuse.  gear is good, but you have to be able to create the pictures that will compel people to action, stir in them emotions of joy, anger, disgust, excitement…the camera aint gonna do that for you!

A Million Little Pictures is a project of art house co-op.   its a documentary project that everyone can participate and contribute to.  for $18 bucks, they will send you a disposable camera w 24 frames, and your task is to document your life, any way you see fit, and develop and return the prints to the project.  there hope it to have 1000 participants all across the country, and to create a documentary of images of all the pics they receive back.  it may not total a million, but its a project that has merit and creativity.  after-all it is all about the image.

ive been talking about doing a photo outing with disposable cameras for some time now…no time like the present.  if your interested in learning more about this documentary project, you can learn more HERE.


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