Essays About Photography: Top 5 Examples Plus Prompts

Discover the joy of photography by reading our guide on how to write essays about photography, including top essay examples and writing prompts. 

It is truly remarkable what pictures can tell you about the time they were taken and their subjects. For example, a well-taken photograph can expose the horrors of conflict in a war-torn country or the pain endured by victims of racial persecution. At the same time, it can also evoke a mother’s joy after seeing her newborn baby for the first time. Photography is crucial to preserving precious moments that deserve to be remembered.

Photography can be considered a form of art. So much intent is put into a picture’s composition, subject, angle, and lighting. There is a lot of talent, thought, and hard work that goes into photography to produce such thought-provoking images, 

If you are writing essays about photography, you can start by reading some examples. 

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5 Essay Examples To Inspire You

1. Why Photography is a Great Hobby? by Lillie Lane

“Be imaginative when writing your shots. Photography is about the impact of your chances. The odds are good that nobody will care to check over your picture When it is an item in a background. Discover how to produce a fantastic photograph, and take these skills and use them.”

Lane gives readers tips on taking better photos in this essay. These include keeping balance, choosing a subject widely, investing in certain pieces of equipment, and using the appropriate settings for taking pictures. She stresses that photos must appear as natural as possible, and following her advice may help people to get good pictures. 

2. The Importance of Photography by Emily Holty

“No matter where you go photography plays into your life somehow. We don’t realize how big of an impact photography truly has on us until we see the details of our life hidden in a photograph. When you flip through your photo album and start looking for those details you suddenly realize you are truly blessed. A photograph keeps a moment frozen in time so we have it forever. Something like joy becomes clearer as we look deeper into the photograph.”

Holty does an excellent job of describing what makes photography so appealing to many people. You can take a picture of anything you want if you want to remember it, and photos help us look at the intricacies and details of what we see around us every day. Photography also helps us keep memories in our heads and hearts as time passes by, and most of all, it allows us to document the greatness of our world. It is ever-present in our lives, and we will keep taking photos the more adventures we have. 

3. Why I Love Photography by Bob Locher

“Every day in normal circumstances people take thousands of pictures of the Grand Canyon. It takes very little thought to realize that few if any of these pictures will be in any way noteworthy above pictures already taken. But that said, they are OUR pictures, our personal affirmation of the wonderful scene stretched out below us, and that gives them a special validity for us.”

Locher reflects on the role photography played in his life and why he enjoys it so much, partly due to his spirituality. He previously worked in the photographic equipment business and rekindled his love for photography in his 60s. Photography, to him, is a way of affirming and acknowledging God’s creations around him and appreciating the natural world. He also briefly discusses the importance of equipment and post-editing; however, no photo is perfect. 

4.  The Shocking History Of Death Photography by Yewande Ade

“In fact, it was easier for the photographer if the dead person was in a sleeping position because there would be no need to put him or her in an appropriate position or prop the eyes open. The restful pose gave some families comfort because it made them believe that their loved one(s) had passed on happily and to a more peaceful realm. It gave the semblance of death as a painless act like sleep.”

An interesting phenomenon in the history of the camera is post-mortem photography, in which deceased people, usually children, were posed and made to look “alive,” to an extent, so their loved ones could remember them. This was done as a way of mourning; the subjects were made to look as if they were merely asleep to give their loved ones comfort that they had passed on peacefully and happily. Eventually, a reduction in the death rate led to the end of this practice. 

5. ​​Fashion photography by Sara Page

“Modern fashion photography differs because photographers aim to be extraordinary with their work, they know that extra ordinary will interest the audience much more It is extremely evident that fashion photography has changed and developed throughout the years, however there is not just reason. It is clear that fashion photography has changed and developed because of advancements in technology, change in attitudes and the introduction of celebrities.”

Page’s essay focuses on the history of fashion photography and some techniques used in practice. It dated back to 1911 and astonished the public with glamorous photos of people wearing perfectly-styled outfits. As the years have gone on, photographers have taken the lighting of the photos more into account, as well as their settings. In addition, editing software such as Photoshop has allowed even better photos to be produced. Fashion photography has only become more extravagant with the current social culture. 

5 Helpful Prompts On Essays About Photography

1. What Is Your Favorite Thing to Photograph?

In your essay, write about your favorite subject when you take pictures- is it people, landscapes, objects, or something else? Explain why, give examples, and perhaps elaborate on your camera settings or the lighting you look for when taking photos.  

2. Why Is Photography So Important?

Photography is an important invention that has helped us immensely throughout the years- how exactly? Explain why photography rivals painting and why it is essential. Then, write about its importance to you, the entire world, and humanity. 

3. Should Photography Be Considered An Art Form?

Some say photography pales compared to the intricacies of music, painting, sculpture, and even cinema and should not be considered a form of art. For an interesting argumentative essay, determine whether photography is genuine art or not and defend your position. Explore both sides of the topic and give a strong rebuttal against the opposing viewpoint. 

4. Different Types of Photography

Essays about photography: Different types of photography
Write about at least three types of photography that interest you and what they entail

From street photography to food photography to portraiture, many different types of photography are classified according to the subject being captured. Write about at least three types of photography that interest you and what they entail. You may also discuss some similarities between them if any. Check out our list of the top CreativeLive photography courses.

5. Interpretations Of Photographs

Like other works of art, a photograph can be interpreted differently. Choose a photo you find exciting and describe how you feel about it. What is being portrayed? What emotions are being evoked? What did the photographer want to show here? Reflect on your chosen work and perhaps connect it with your personal life. 

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  • Martin is an avid writer specializing in editing and proofreading. He also enjoys literary analysis and writing about food and travel.