What makes a photo ‘artistic’? Why would an image that at first glance may seem ordinary , actually be extraordinary? Without getting too deep into art theory I think this paradox can be answered without much difficulty. A snapshot, or everyday photo, is one captured with the intention to create a literal copy of the scene in front of the camera. In this role the camera acts as a sort of ‘Xerox‘ machine with the photographers intention being to capture, as closely as possible, some memorable moment. There is little intention or pre-visualization beyond that. This is why the majority of photos are taken.
What makes a photograph a piece of art goes beyond this. It becomes about intention. The photographer as artist creates an idea or concept in their mind and operates the camera and / or subject with the express intention of visually reproducing that abstract notion in a photograph. The image demands the viewer consider the created image, it’s intention and message, and even create their own personal interpretation of it. Whatever it is, it isn’t a strait forward, ‘Xerox,’ copy of what sits in front of the camera. It triggers other thoughts and demands careful consideration. Something not easily done in todays attention addled world of facebook and instagram.