I could’ve taken that photo.
Well, why didn’t you?
If you have been involved with photography a while, you have probably shown someone one of your images only to have them tell you that they could have taken the same photograph. Or, better yet, they may say that their 3 year old child could have done the same. Actually, they are probably right about the 3 year old because kids do not limit their imagination as we adults all too often do. That is another post entirely.
When people make this statement to you, I think they are correct in that they have the ability to take the same photo. The thing is, most of the people that make this statement probably would not let themselves take the same photo. How many people do you know that would stop their car to take a picture of a damaged and weathered fence row? For all I know, you may be wondering why I decided to stop for this shot. I stopped because it caught my eye and I was drawn in by the mood I saw in the scene that was there before me.
This image may not do anything for you and I can respect that. The point is, it did something for me and I would bet that it will do something for at least some of the people that see it. I photograph for myself first but I also hope that I can convey the mood that I felt when I first saw the scene in the photo. That is what I consider success.
There is probably no response that you can give to the person making this remark that will satisfy them. I just try to keep in mind that my vision is unique to me and there really is no way to please everyone. You will only drive yourself crazy trying. Hopefully someone else will “get it” too. If I ever start to “not get it” with my own images, I guess that is when I will know I am in deep trouble.