All of a photographer's images are products of that relationship dialog that is captured and possibly passed on to the future. Just as an artist's song, story, or painting is left for future access so is a photographer's image; the product of his relationship with his client or subject matter. In this light a photograph enters the category of Culture; a statement from the past that depicts a person's relationship to their environment or client. It becomes the physical vehicle for conveying a prior reality that lends itself to the uses of the future viewer; it attests to the existence of a thing recognized by an absent perceiver.
In this era of rising importance of Social Media, its reach, how important is consciousness of Photography as an indelible statement about the relationship of the Photographer to the client or the situation? It is in this relationship that the Photographer has a power that defines the power embedded in the Photographer; the power to define the present for the future. Viewing Photography as grounded in relationships, it's also part of the bargain clients are contracting for, i.e., what message are they sending to the future through the power of the Photographer to grasp, construct, and record a shared reality grounded in the client-Photographer relationship?
I suspect that my views on Photography as relationship are really narrow and not what appears related to the business of Photography. But that's that's the aspect of Photography that draws me ever deeper into the examination of the practice as a social and cultural act. Like cinema photography, the big money makers are being constructed with knowledge drawn from an intensive study of cultural history and development of photographic techniques that immerse the viewers' sense of history and their physical senses in a visual and audible production that connects them to a perspective that is familiar at one level and novel at another. What still photographers have mastered these same relationships? Oh, Avatar is the movie I'm thinking of that was constructed as I've described. It's also one of the highest grossing movies in the history of the industry; if not the highest. What message did it send to the future?