Are Photographers Ruining Everything?

Are Photographers Ruining Everything?

The fixation of some photographers to document their lives at any cost has led to unsavory behavior around the world – from the poppy fields in CA to the Grand Prismatic Springs in Yosemite to the railroad tracks at Auschwitz. To make matters worse, businesses have started designing their spaces to encourage and maximize Instagrammable moments. 

Could leaving your camera at home be liberating? Could it allow you to enjoy the moment even more? Sarah and Allen discuss the possibilities in this episode of Vision Slightly Blurred.

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Sarah and Allen host PhotoShelter's Vision Slightly Blurred podcast

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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the co-founder of PhotoShelter.

There are 7 comments for this article
  1. Raphael Bruckner at 1:55 pm

    I think you referring to the cell phone and I-pad culture. Now that everyone has one of these they can be as self-centered as narcissistic as They want to be. And with social media people all think their voice and opinion and brand are important. The Poppy Bloom attracts people most respect the rules however there are some hillbillies that decide to ignore of the rules same with the people who paint rock in National Parks and walk into hot springs or use drones. As a responsible photographer I tell hillbillies to knock that shit off.

    Your title Are Photographers Ruining Everything and then you write “fixation of some photographers to document their lives at any cost” leads me to believe the author is trying to be inflammatory to raise his own profile up truth in journalism .
    Raphael Charles BRUCKNER

  2. Pamela Kelso at 7:08 pm

    I have an old app of Instagram. The new repost apps don’t recognize it so I got the new one. There is a big difference. The new one is very, very heavy on adds. The older one’s algorithms are more focused on posting from the ones you are following. The newer one seems to be based on the marketing structure of the advertisers (location, zip code etc.) and not even the similarity of the content to your site.

    I have the older one on my tablet and the newer one and repost app on my phone. I do very little with my phone so the app permissions of contacts, files, images is not as threatening to me or the security of my devise.

    The Poppies. If you tramp through flower beds before the flowers have had time to set seed then you are effectively destroying the next generation of flowers. That is why public gardens have those little fences and do not let you walk around in the flowers.

    To be honest, I think that sometimes people are not being dumb (who can be that f*****g dumb) but actually being destructive and would like to see the places they are trashing and clogging up closed permanently. Saving all the associated costs of travel to them and saving the environment. The camera is just a prop.

  3. Joseph McNally at 6:09 am

    Hi to you guys….Hmmmm…Sarah uses the term “thoughtful photographers.” Which is of course the opposite of the group that perhaps is being referred to in the title of the podcast? I understand the reason for the title, to stir interest, and catch eyes and hits. But, the truly thoughtful photographer drinks in a location, stays with it. Revisits it. Puts their camera down and lets the location speak to them. It is the opposite of buying the ticket for the grandstand in Alaska and getting an hour on said stand to hope you get a chance to shoot the bear eating the fish. So, there is the distinction between, perhaps the memento driven tourist, and photographer? I have a dear friend who answered a question from the audience quite honestly, when asked why his picture of this very familiar, oft photographed site was so amazing, and different, and thus memorable and apart from the millions of other pix shot of the particular location. He bluntly, simply said, “I went there 17 times.” Persistence, devotion to craft, sensitivity to surroundings, lifelong involvement, stubbornness in the face of adversity, adherence to a certain level of standards in terms of personal conduct….traits of the photographer.

  4. Pamela Kelso at 4:03 pm

    Astute, powerful and completely spot on comments from Mr. McNally.

    Thank you for permission to not even call them photographers.

    I have long gotten over feeling slighted by professional photographers who have been that “all their lives”.

    Not all of us have been so blessed. Even though my mother was brave enough to give her camera to a young child life had a lot in store for me before my plate was cleared enought to devote my full attention to it in the way I wanted.

    In 2008ish the discussion was raging about what constituted “professional” in photography. The main consensus was income from it. My idea was a professional in anything is someone who gets up and works on it every day (mostly) and treats their subjects and other photographers well. I used to use Van Gogh as an example of someone who never sold anything in his life but I stopped because I didn’t want the thought to jinx me.

    Also, totally off subject, or maybe not. Scrolling through ROKU channels last night I found “The Great Courses” channel. Monthly subscription is $20.00. All of the courses are available, including all of their National Geographic photography ones. Maybe a little instruction would go aways to helping create photographers from tourists??

  5. Greg at 12:48 am

    Perhaps I should have given my original comment
    some context. From the introduction to this blog: “…from the poppy fields in CA to the Grand Prismatic Springs in Yosemite to the railroad tracks at Auschwitz”

  6. Greg at 4:12 pm

    “…from the poppy fields in CA to the Grand Prismatic Springs in Yosemite to the railroad tracks at Auschwitz”

    Who moved the Grand Prismatic Springs? Now I have to go to California to see them? I bet Wyoming is not happy.

  7. Jaime R. Carrero at 3:47 pm

    A person with a smartphone or a digital camera is NOT necessarily a photographer. They own a device. Any Dick or Jane is now a photographer apparently. A real photographer has a commitment to the craft for one and has a respectful approach to any subject, be it Yosemite or a person who just lost their home in a fire. Just like any real artist there is a serious approach when making images. As Mr. McNally stated, there is perseverance in capturing a memorable image. Aynone can shoot a mediocre derivative photo. Anyone. Not everyone can shoot a unique image.
    The Narcissistic transformation this society has undergone is nothing short of nauseating. Social media has validated stupidity and egotism to a degree never seen before. “Influencers”, what ever that means populate Instagram with inane, derivative dirge daily. How many millions of images are uploaded daily to social media? How many duck faced selfies do you need to take? Seriously. How many idiots have fallen to their deaths because of a selfie?
    But please show me another shot of that f*cking sandwich, why don’t you?

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