Not My Shot

by , on
Jun 5, 2018

Frankie had brought along his own camera, a digital number with a gigantic lens. Since he had graduated from art school with a degree in photography, my brother was struggling to find a career in making pictures. Social documentary, he liked to say.

He snapped a few photographs of the frozen man until he saw Ortiz go to work. Frankie frowned, backed away and deleted his pictures. “Not my shot,” he told me later, after the publication of the frozen man story caused an international sensation. “What was I going to do with the picture?” Franke explained. “Hang it on my wall? Please.”

From Detroit – An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff


I’ve been feeling Frankie lately.

The imposterness has been creeping in.

Going places where maybe the camera shouldn’t be.

It used to be that I’d worry about my camera at festivals because that is where people get drunk and spill beer all over expensive things. Now I see other photographers at work with cameras that cost more than my car and Media credentials hanging from their neck. These are the ones who are working. The ones who have built up a body of work worthy of media credentials. They are the respectable photographers grabbing content for all the people who aren’t here.

Me? I just want to have a little something for myself. That modern quandary – are we here to be here, or are we here to produce content for some undescribed audience? Will I remember this better if I take it in through a camera? Is all of that research correct? Do people care about photos they are not inside of?

If this is a problem, there are some odd ways of going about it. Spaces that are created just to facilitate user generated content. Places designed to be worthy of an Instagram. Engineered for more likes, more followers, to be in tune with more hashtags.

All I want is my camera. Why do I feel so bad about it?

And, frankly, what is keeping me from applying for my own credentials? And should i get them, where would those photographs go? On my wall?



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