What is World Photography Day? (and What it Means to Me)

hospitality and hotel photography

Architectural photography of the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, designed by Dawson Architects, by Gerry O’Leary

Observed on 19 August every year, World Photography Day is a significant event that celebrates the art, impact, and history of photography on a global scale. Not everyone has a day to rejoice in their career and I discuss what it means to me as a photographer of architecture.

The role of photography in history

Throughout the course of history, since the first camera was invented, photography has played a crucial role in chronicling historical events, fleeting moments, and people across the annals of time. It serves as a powerful tool for preserving memories and documenting the evolution of our world, marking its indispensable significance in human history. On my own journey, I’ve used photography to capture the demolition of old buildings and the development of fascinating new structures, bearing witness to transforming cityscapes and new horizons.

Why World Photography Day is important

World Photography Day recognises the remarkable artistic achievements of photographers while also highlighting the value of photography as a medium of art. Photography is a dynamic artform that enables individuals to capture and express their perspectives, emotions and creativity through visual storytelling. I’m grateful that I have made a career in this creative genre, it allows me to communicate through a visual language that transcends the boundaries of culture and resonates universally across communities worldwide. 

When amateur photographers hear about World Photography Day, it  encourages them to share their work and experiences. It provides a platform for aspiring photographers to showcase their talents and gain recognition, fostering a sense of community and collaboration in the photography world.  

Technological advancements in photography

World Photography Day provides an opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the technological advancements that have reshaped the photography landscape over the years. From traditional film cameras to digital photography and mobile phone cameras, technology has played a vital role in expanding the accessibility of photography to the masses. Having immersed myself in the intricacies of photography for over 30 years, I’m fortunate to have cultivated a profound understanding of the evolution of the art form – spanning from the grandeur of  large format film cameras to the prowess of contemporary digital cameras. 

19 August 2023 marks the 184th anniversary of the patenting of the Daguerreotype, essentially the first photograph ever, thanks to Louis Daguerre and Joseph Niepce for paving the way for the invention of modern photography. By happy coincidence, it also coincides with my 30th anniversary as a professional photographer.  

This year on World Photography Day, I’ll be…

I’m super excited to be travelling to Sri- Lanka On this auspicious day. It is the first time in my career that I’ve been invited to the country on a photographic assignment, and it will be the 8th nation I’ve visited in 2023.

Thanks to my career as an international architecture photographer, I’ve been to 70 countries to date. 

Photography allows us to capture fleeting moments and create lasting memories. World Photography Day reminds us of the importance of cherishing these memories and the role photographs play in preserving the stories of our lives and those of our family and friends. Thanks to Apple and other camera phone manufacturers, billions of people now have a camera in their pocket and through the advent of internet and email, images can be transmitted globally instantaneously. 

Should you wish to reach out on World Photography Day, please DM me on  Instagram and I promise I will reply. Have a happy snappy day!