What is your sentence?

He gave those without a voice the chance to tell their story.

How do you want to be described? What do you want to be known for? Dig deep. Once you get there, dig deeper.

That’s the assignment I was tasked with. It’s based on this video by Daniel Pink. It really seemed pretty easy at first; all I needed to do was come up with a sentence. Just a few words ending with a period. But the more I thought about it, the harder it became. How could I distill my entire life into a single sentence? Like anyone, I’m hoping to live to a ripe old age, so, if that’s true, I’ve lived something like a quarter of my life, without any idea of what the next 70 years will bring.

Life can start to get a little crazy when you look at it in those huge proportions, so I decided to step back into my life now, at the age of 20.

I’m a student. Photography and filmmaking are pretty interesting, so that’s what I’m studying. I’ve started to get my feet wet with a couple of projects and internships in the “real world” and it’s been extremely fun, but there is so much change and turmoil within the space that it can be a bit nerve-racking trying to figure out if it’s the right way to go.

Like I talked about in my post last week, social media, and especially the internet, has changed everything about photography. Everybody, everywhere is creating content, so that leaves professional photographers in sort of an awkward situation: keep up with the times or get forced out. But the digital economy has also given photojournalists a jump on speed. In a bid to reach more audiences faster, especially during worldwide events like the Olympics, organizations like AP and Getty are fighting to keep up with demand.

With technology changing so much, it’s hard to be certain of anything, but the one thing that will always be around is a subject: people, buildings, anything that tells a story. And that’s really what photos (and especially photojournalism) are about.

That’s how I finally came to write a sentence that I liked. It’s a sentence that will last forever. Without worrying about the effects of technology, it focuses on what’s important: people. While it might not be the perfect descriptor of my life right now, it gives me something to strive towards, to look at when I lose my way, and to hopefully leave the world a better place than the one in which I came.

One comment on “What is your sentence?”

  • Kelly Cunningham says:

    I love your sentence. I fell in love with photography because a photo tells a story, and I’m not even trying to be cliche or allude to the quote, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The digital age has changed so much for us as content creators, and I like how you said, “Without worrying about the effects of technology, it focuses on what’s important: people.” Everything is changing in the world of content creating, or even the world in general, but I like how you bring back the focus to what it should be: the people.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: