Can Photography Change the World?


I don’t think you can change the world with photography, but you can change yourself with photography.

For example, we can’t fix starving kids in Africa just by taking photos of them. However, we can bring awareness to these issues, and of course— help this effort.

We can document injustice in the world. We can bring it to light to a wider public.

Photography is one of the best tools for social good. Photography empowers us to share a message of justice— because people trust in images more than words.

Be the change you wish to see in the world

If you really want to change the world with your photography, know that your message might fall onto deaf ears. There is a lot of “poverty porn” on the internet — and unfortunately, many people have become desensitized to it.

However, just because the world might be a little callous— doesn’t mean you should stop your noble pursuit.

If you truly, in your heart, want to change the world — you can. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

You must change yourself, before you wish to change the world.

For example, if you want to make any social change — start off by changing your own personal behavior. If you want to battle the injustice of poverty in the world, perhaps start off by being less wasteful, and also being more personally-generous. Don’t show off your generosity to your friends and family — let them learn from you by your personal example.

Furthermore, a lot of luck is involved in changing the world. If you don’t have the right resources, the right timing, or the right tools — you might fail. However, you always have the power to change yourself. To change your mindset, your personality, and how you personally act.

But ultimately, I do believe we can change the world with photography. Because often changing the world means to just change one person. And if you can’t change one other person, you can always change yourself.


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