Emotions and Photography

Fluorescent angels

There is a well used idea in photography, an idea that I touched on in my 2K17 post; that you should let your images marinate for a while after taking them, because in theory, you have too much emotional attachment to them immediately after the fact and leaving them to marinate for a while allows you to see them with a more analytical/critical eye… In theory this is all well and fine, and works to some extent; although the problem that I have with it is this:

What is photography if it isn’t about emotions?

The world is an emotional place, to walk a city’s streets for example, is to wade though a never-ending swirling eddy of emotional energy, dreams and desires; To me, taking a photograph is not so much about capturing a moment as about converting emotions and memories into pictures;

So, yeah, we should be emotional about photography, otherwise what is the point?

Did Picasso withhold his emotions when he painted the Weeping-Woman? I doubt it, did David Bowie when he penned Heroes or Alicia Keys when she wrote Empire-State-of-Mind? And yet as photographers we are constantly told to distance ourselves from our work? It is as if because the camera is an automated-machine then we also should be automated and unemotional, unfeeling, detached… Yes, I can feel different about an image after a passing of time, but that doesn’t mean the feelings I had when I first pressed the shutter and the days immediately afterwards weren’t relevant also, sometimes they are more relevant…

because they were the very feelings that made me want to capture the moment in the first place.