Some Thoughts on Photography for 2018…


In no particular order and with no particular emphasis here are some of the thoughts currently occurring to me with regards to both the medium of photography and the photographic environment we find ourselves in. Posted to create debate not agreement, but if you agree that’s fine with me.

  1. When will people start to recognise the reality and importance of computational photography?
  2. It is time to accept the smartphone as a camera.
  3. Work that requires linguistic gymnastics to explain its reason and/or intention does not fulfill its purpose as visual language. It never did and it still does not.
  4. Keep it personal and let people know about it.
  5. Instagram is important but it is not everything.
  6. Photo books should exist but only if they have a reason to.
  7. Competitions should reveal their facts and figures. Entries made, profits made, costs incurred or be boycotted.
  8. Portfolio reviews should be free. Those that need them most can afford them least.
  9. Let’s not forget or disrespect our history in a panic to find the new.
  10. There is no shame in being a photographer, you don’t have to be an artist.
  11. If you want to do it you can. It just won’t be easy.
  12. Collaborate.
  13. Don’t be angry, get busy.
  14. It has never been easier to meet fellow photographers in person, but it means leaving the comfort of a screen.
  15. Photographs have become stained glass windows.


Grant Scott is the founder/curator of the United Nations of Photography, a Senior Lecturer in Editorial and Advertising Photography at the University of Gloucestershire, a working photographer, and the author of Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained (Focal Press 2014) and The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography (Focal Press 2015). His next book #New Ways of Seeing: The Democratic Language of Photography will be published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2018.

His documentary film Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay will be premiered in 2018.

© Grant Scott 2018


  1. When one thinks of doing something with passion he really will not have any excuses. Same is the case of photography. Adored the Number 10 photograph!

  2. Thank you for some thought-provoking thoughts! Add another – no country is the ‘centre’ of photographic activity or importance, not even America. It is international, includes even the ‘3rd World’ and is still a universal language exceeding the spoken or written word in speeding communication and information distribution.

  3. Number 3. Oh yes.

    Perhaps another… ‘Mentioning the camera used to make an image (every image) adds nothing to the image. It simply grates’.

    It doesn’t matter what you use (so number 2 comes into play here). It’s a marketing device only. Buying that camera will not make that image, or even similar images, for another user.

  4. Once I had looked up what computational photography meant…. I actually find myself agreeing with all of these points except perhaps to add one last one. Photographs are also for making and keeping memories. As a person who has spent two days looking through her own personal archive of made, found and handed down images I was not at all suprised to find how emotional it made me. Even the work of Tish Murtha (a far more accomplished photographer than myself) recently published by her daughter resulted in reviving memories of my youth, things I had seen in my own home.

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