Recently in a Facebook group, the question was posted: Photographers are.....? The answer was to be just one word. My first thought (and response) was NECESSARY.
We need those people who are willing to travel to remote areas of the world to document. As a teacher in my former career, I saw my world through the eyes of an educator. With the diverse learning styles kiddos have, photographers are educators, as well. They just use a different medium to educate. How would our students, inside the classroom, be able to learn about remote parts of the world, for example, Antartica? How would they learn about the wild animals in Africa, when assigned a project? When doing a social studies lesson, how would they be able to learn about the national parks of the United States. This is where the old adage, "a picture is worth a thousand words," comes into play. The odds are not in favor of many students being able to travel to the far ends of the earth. Photographers do the "heavy lifting" and bring the world to the classroom. Teachers rely on those necessary photographers to let students be visual learners.
We need photographers for the sake of the "cause" - good and bad. There has never been so much photo documenting, as we have today. The causes top the news headlines on a daily basis. With the 24/7 news cycle, anyone can be a documenter for the cause. Protests, rallies, parties, births, happiness, sadness, good news, and bad news are now a cause to document with images. Photographers are necessary!
The question that comes to mind for me is... how much is too much? Everyone is ready to pull out their cellphone to take a picture, just in case. There is no place to hide. Cameras on phones, cameras in doorways, cameras on streetlights, cameras in living rooms, cameras in backyards, cameras in schools, cameras in restaurants, cameras in churches, cameras in police cars, body cameras on police and the list goes on and on. Be careful, what you do. Smile you're on Candid Camera!