Take a picture, it’ll last longer
I’ve seen several people criticize photographers via social media for capturing the empty spaces in our life right now because, “photography isn’t an essential part of society.” I disagree. Now, I am not saying that photographers are as equally essential as medical professionals or sanitation professionals but that they simply have a different kind of importance in our society.
Visual records of events have been vital to our society since the dawn of man. The mediums shifted over time from cave walls to canvas but once photography was refined to the point photographs could be captured without a chemist’s education, the visual documentation of important events was a core part of society.
As the Great Depression of the 1930s settled into the middle of America and hope was diminishing among the populous, photographers were sent to the desolate places and tasked to capture what life was like so people could see firsthand that others were suffering. During the Second World War, the war photographers who helped liberate the concentration camps were ordered to capture the true horrors that took place there. The commanding officers and leaders during those time knew that photographs of these events would be some of the most important photographs ever captured.
When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the Moon, Armstrong had a Hasselblad 907x in his hands and I guarantee that when we finally see humans step onto Mars, one of the astronauts will have a camera in their hands to capture the monumental event.
Even with all the documented proof there is about all these instances in history there are still people who deny that the Holocaust happened or that Armstrong and Aldrin travelled to the Moon and back. That fact proves why photography is vital now more than ever. The photographs that are coming out of Italy are simultaneously depressing and beautiful but the reality of how the world handled this virus should never be forgotten.