This is my favorite photo that I took at VidCon 2012 a few months ago. There is just so much that I love about it, from the intense expression on this girl’s face to the Make Videos Every Day wristband she’s wearing to the fact that almost every type of video camera – from a camcorder to a point and shoot to a DSLR to an iPhone – is represented.
To me this photo represents a generation of creators and curators. People are no longer content with simply consuming things like musical performances – they want to record and share them so anyone else in the world can experience them as well. The entire ecosystem of celebrities has evolved – no longer do fans simply listen to music or watch TV shows; now the tools to remix and share music and video clips and fanart are so easily available that fans play a direct role in their promotion and create things that become practically canon in the artist’s catalog.
I love the stance that the girl has in this photo – back arched, arms up, head looking up. I’ve been in this exact same position too many times to even count, and I think it’s something that is so unique to our generation. She’s not watching the performance as it happens – she’s watching it through a 2D screen tilted down to avoid the sun while her arms are hurting from holding the camera above her head for three minutes straight. But these sacrifices are worth it when she can rewatch the performance as many times as she’d like, and put it online to be accessible anywhere and forever. When you film a moment, you make it infinite. And that’s why I think video has become such an important medium in this day and age, now that the tools are finally accessible to anyone.
Of course, this whole “YouTube generation” is amplified at a place like VidCon, which brings together only the most dedicated of online video creators. There were probably more people with video cameras than without, but as cameras get smaller, and phone cameras just keep improving, and Google Glasses no longer seem like such a distant future, I think we’re only going to see more and more filming, and more and more of an interwoven, complex archive of the world we live in. That is what is so unique about the time period we’re living in – it is the first time in history that we have such an extensive collection of video footage, and we’re not just using the medium to tell fictional stories, but using it to capture exactly how people live their lives in every country, in every social class, from the most exciting to the most mundane events. There are 72 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute these days, and I’m just really excited to see everyone who has access to a video camera, DSLR, or even just a webcam working together to continue pushing that number even higher.