I must have seen thousands upon thousands of pictures in my life so far, especially since this generation is in the digital age where everything is being documented through photos as well as videos.
But I have never emotionally responded nor connected to a photograph before — well, not until I was introduced to Dorothea Lange’s photography. My English teacher showed the class a documentary about her life and the different stages of her career as a photographer. She started off by doing family portraits in her apartment in San Francisco. Wealthy people sought her because she made the photographs look beautifully natural and simple.
Soon she realized that photography was a powerful tool in which she could use to make a difference. She began to document through her photography the American struggles during the Depression and The Dust Bowl and other events in history. She shined a light on places in America that people were unaware of. She dedicated her life to showing human emotions such as pain, sorrow, and longing as well as happiness, faith, hope, and love. I feel these emotions in her images, I understand the facial expressions of her subjects.
When I walked out of English class today, I was inspired. I want to shine a light on the darkness of today’s society the way Dorothea did in her time. I want to be a part of something bigger, something important, something life-changing. Something.
A picture isn’t worth a thousand words, its worth so much more.