Amit Mehra: The Ritual of Visual Empowerment
While attending a recent wedding in the family, I couldn’t help observing the far reaching effect of cellphones in our daily lives.Almost everyone photographs each other, and the spontaneous photoshoot/group shot/selfie has become an integral part of the modern-day social gathering.When earlier, one may have posed for the designated photographer, the cameraphone has allowed everyone, photographer or not, to engage with the process. This kind of picturemaking is not just about the destination, not just about that final photo uploaded on one’s Facebook timeline, but also about the process.
Cellphone photography has become an icebreaker, a conversation and a ritual, one that is enjoyed by one and all—the joy of collecting everyone, shooting their picture, and then, immediately, striking a pose so that they can, in turn, photograph you. Of course, the modern-day family album is largely virtual. That is something that we need to acknowledge, and it is also true that Facebook, Instagram and mobile connectivity are the real reasons why everyone uses their cellphone so often. It’s not just a camera, not just a handy tool, but a voice that allows both photographers and non-photographers to interact with the visual world. This is visual empowerment, come to think of it, and what we make of it in the future, will be extremely interesting.
About Amit Mehra
Constantly balancing the worlds of commercial and documentary photography, Amit describes himself saying, “I’m like an octopus who likes to deal with different things at the same time. You can call me a schizophrenic photographer.” The moments in this monthly diary are excerpts from his ongoing work titled ‘Roznaama’.
Tags: Amit Mehra, Cellphone Diaries, cellphone photography, june 2015