Keep Smiling, Buckle Up, And Enjoy The Ride

We live in a world, home to 8 billion people.

Among this 8-billion human collective, we take, annually, well over 1 trillion photos, and approximately 90% of these photos are exclusively shot with phone cameras.

That means that only about 10% or less of the photos are taken with standalone cameras.

Smartphone cameras are on the rise…still!

While it would be both fair and accurate to say, that many flagship phone cameras have improved a lot in recent years and can produce high-quality images that rival or surpass some standalone cameras, this isn’t the whole story as it relates to photography.

By far and away most of this 90% are, well, snapshots and not photographs, pictures that are taken and not made, captured spontaneously, of life’s moments and memories, more often than not, without artistic or journalistic intent.

I’m not at all railing against or even disenfranchising this 90% of photos, most of which live on private camera rolls, and will never see the light of day, anywhere, anytime, or ever enjoy being printed and displayed on paper.

Again, these are mostly captured by picture-takers, not photographers per se.

It’s a tale of two cities, two universes, two planets, and two kinds of photographers.

There is a huge difference between snapshots by consumers and photographs by hobbyists
A snapshot is a quick and casual photo, usually taken by an amateur with a phone or standalone camera. A photograph is a more careful and artistic photo, usually taken by a professional or semi-professional with a flagship smartphone or bigger camera.

The subject and the quality of a snapshot and a photograph are different because of the different levels of skill and intention.

The sad reality of so many mobile photos shot today, as seen on social media, is the astounding ephemeral nature of these pictures-here today, gone tomorrow.

It is my humble opinion that history will remember these snapshot photos, similar to how we remember and revere words in a dictionary-as a practical language and communication tool but not as “fine art” or even “art” at all.

We might even be seeing, in the mobile space, a tipping point. where technology is outpacing and outstripping creativity.Granted, photography hardware and software are improving at a frenetic pace but are the quality of our photographs following suit?

I don’t have a simple answer for you.
I don’t know.

We are living in the Golden Age of Consumer Photography.

Keep smiling, buckle up, and enjoy the ride



Jack Hollingsworth