The more common parlance in photography seems to be “take a photograph”. But personally I prefer to say I “make a photograph”.
A few reasons.
When we release the shutter, we’re creating something that didn’t exist before, whether on film or digitally.
The image will almost inevitably go through further development and processing, but already at this stage it has been created irrevocably.
Yes you could destroy the film or delete the digital image, but this doesn’t undo the fact that the image was made. Something that wasn’t there previously, has been given form.
Also, we’re making a moment more permanent. We’re creating visible evidence that at this precise point in time, this is how the world around us appeared.
It needn’t be just another unstable, unreliable memory in our minds, likely to dissolve and contort over the years. Because we’ve given it form, we’ve made it an unavoidable, unequivocal document.
Perhaps the purpose and intention of the final image plays a part in whether we say “make” or “take”?
Do we only make a photograph when it’s created with some kind of artistic aim, and take a photograph when it’s “just” a snapshot of our family or something we see on holiday and want to remember?
Art must be made, snapshots are merely, casually, taken?
Maybe we more frequently hear people talking about taking photographs because it’s about taking a moment, snatching it from that mighty unstoppable invincible river we call “time” to make it ours?
Do we use the word “take” as part of the elaborate performance of self-delusion that promises by taking a photograph we are taking control of time, laughing in the face of that aforementioned relentless march that in fact no man, machine nor animal can halt?
But because we can’t face this truth, we say we take photographs, to further bury our denial of the helpless and inevitable decay and passing of us all?
How about you, what do you say? Do you take a photograph, or make a photograph?
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