The purpose of photography is to document or create a moment that evokes some sort of feeling while and/or after viewing it.
But the purpose of photography is becoming blurred and diluted. Once an act exclusively for special documentation or fantastical creation, photography has now become a daily activity. People, especially of the younger variety, constantly take photos with little thought. A Snapchat sent here, an Instagram posted there; so many photos taken without even noticing. The ability to take a photo (I can't exactly bring myself to call all photo-taking photography) is remains fairly common in day-to-day life, making the rare, moving piece of photography more of an anomaly.
It seems as though the world simply doesn't have the time for truly affecting, disturbing, and thought-provoking works of photography, an epidemic that is similarly seen in the areas of art, fashion, and film. The world doesn't have time to soak up the emotion found on the traditional scale of great works of art, but rather takes in small floods of feeling from large bursts of content. A scroll through Tumblr gets the feelings flowing and the thoughts thinking, but it takes a continuous series of images (and the few, fervent words) to evoke that emotional inspiration, rather than a singular image.
The accessibility of photography today may leave little room for the singularly strong images, iconic and overpowering, but it only amplifies the everyday beauty, sadness, and emotion found in our world. Don't get me wrong, the ineffably beautiful and powerful image will always play a part in the motivation of deep thinking (or at least deep appreciation), but it is the curation of simply-shot candids, indie movie stills, and unrealistically raw iPhone snaps that inspire people faster. While a set of seemingly mediocre, yet moving pictures don't last long in memory, they stir and slow the mind just enough for the dull speed of life today.
(Léa Seydoux is such goals.)