Nothing quite excites me the same as when I sell a photo, when someone chooses to spend, at times, a large amount of money to look at my photo for the rest of their life.
However, to me, this in itself is not the purpose of art photography, but it plays a huge roll in the intent.
When I go out in nature I cannot always just see the beauty in everything. I am looking, but I'm certainly confined by my mental state. By this I mean that my emotional lens sees things differently. If I am joyful and happy I tend to seek more color and beauty, if I am upset or lonely I tend to see beauty in contrast and in more of a moody scene.
I took a trip to Europe earlier this year alone for a month. It was rough in some ways and my portfolio from the trip hugely reflects that—a lot of undersaturated, moody and black and white shots.
This is where I find purpose in photography. Photos should have emotion tied with them. When someone drops any amount of money on art it's most likely because they connect with it in some way. It makes them feel peaceful, nostalgic, happy, etc. When you allow your passion for photography to flow through your work, the person that you are and your current season of life shows in your art. It brings connection to a huge amount of viewers who can relate it to their current situation or something they have experienced.
This is such an important thing, and lately it seems to be so lost. People are passionate beings. Although, I hardly ever hear those passions. I also used to struggle to know when I was allowed to share my passion. It feels burdensome. It feels like a lot of talking and dumping yourself on whoever is listening. We teach ourselves that no one really cares how excited we are about that photo of the foliage we took. Of how the soft light creates a soothing feel and the deep shadows create harsh lines and great depth. That you love to just stare at it because it brings back that same peace you felt when you were composing the shot. But damn it, people do care. Think about the times you've been talked to by an excited person. It often doesn't matter in any way what they're talking about, as long as they are passionate, it's exciting. Maybe you got interested in hearing what I like about my foliage pictures?
Seeing people's joy expressed through their passion is contagious. It is needed. We are drawn to lively people. By that I don't mean wild and crazy people, but just those who you can see live with a purpose and openly act on it and talk about it. If you're excited about taking photos, tell the world all about it. Be passionate. Be expressive.
So all in all, share your photos, share your purpose and your passion. Express what your photo means to you and why. Share what you felt when you took the photo and how that played into its composition, light and other components. Ask people how it makes them feel. I have found that people can connect with my photos in such different ways than I could have ever imagined and it is a beautiful thing.
Allow your passion to come alive in your photos and how you communicate them.