Why People Photograph: Selected Essays and Reviews

Front Cover
Aperture, Jan 1, 1994 - Photography - 186 pages
8 Reviews
Why People Photograph is a book by a professional photographer about the relationship of art and life. In 1981 Robert Adams published a volume of essays entitled Beauty in Photography, in which he suggested that art is too important to confuse with interior decoration or an investment opportunity. Its real use, he contended, is to affirm meaning and thus "to keep intact an affection for life." Why People Photograph gathers a selection of Adams's writing since then. His subjects vary, but again he questions accepted prejudice, this time not only the view that art is trivial but that artists are separate. He demonstrates that many understand themselves to be bound to the world by complex and important obligations. Adams's writing is free of academic jargon. Readers will also appreciate his attention to common experience (he talks about trying to earn an income), his enjoyment of the unorthodox (one essay concerns dogs and photography), and above all his conviction that art matters. Photographers "may or may not make a living by photography, " he writes, "but they are alive by it."

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Review: Why People Photograph

User Review  - Terence - Goodreads

Great book, some major insights into Photography and many other topics. Great history too and perhaps the most valuable to me was the section on Teaching. Great advice, observations. Such a force. Read full review

Review: Why People Photograph

User Review  - Danielle - Goodreads

I somehow was sidetracked and haven't finished this yet, but I was inspired by everything I have read so far. This book was extremely helpful in aiding me in writing my artist statement for my bfa project, and also gave me more of a drive for my work. Read full review


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About the author (1994)

Robert Adams is Professor of Human Services Development at the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside.

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