More on FAQ #340

340. What if I make undoctored-looking photos but it’s not a goal of mine for my photographs to be regarded as “records,” undoctored or otherwise?

That’s fine. Every photographer can regard their own photos however they wish — and can explain to viewers their photographic goals as much or as little as they want to, including “no explanation at all.”

But viewers are still likely to be curious, because most of the billions of photographs made every day — whether doctored or undoctored — are made to serve as records (“Look; see where I was and what I saw!”).

As a result, regardless of how photographers view their own goals, anytime photographs merely look both “undoctored” and “impressive,” viewers are likely to be curious whether those photos are undoctored. (Viewers can already see which photos are “impressive.”)

That viewer curiosity will often surface regardless of what the photographer wants the viewer to think, and regardless of whether it is a non-news photograph.

For their part, photographers can always deal with viewers’ curiosity however they choose, including ignoring it and letting viewers make their own assumptions.

Again, no photographer is ever obligated to explain any photograph.