People like to bash on the non-traditional and things that challenge the norm. They say that dance isn’t a sport, that photography isn’t art. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but I disagree with this view. Dance is a sport and photography is a form of art.

One definition of art is the expression of humanity through creativity and a unique perspective. Art has many goals, including to educate people, to expose people to different viewpoints, to showcase beauty from the extraordinary to the ordinary, and to help people feel emotions or channel their feelings into something more tangible.

Photography is art. You don’t have to craft something by hand or guide your work with the stroke of a pencil or a brush, but this doesn’t rule out photography as art. You are still creating a product with your mind, and seeing something in a unique way and sharing this with the world.

Maybe photography isn’t art in the traditional sense but we, as millennials, have been breaking the stigma of “traditional.” There’s nothing wrong with having a brand new perspective or interpreting something in a bold new way. Change is good, and everything is up for interpretation.

Photography is such an empowering form of art because of its potential as teaching tool. It is an incredible visual medium that exposes people of all ages to important societal and cultural issues and touches on the global perspectives.

We can learn so much from photography: how people in other cultures embrace their traditions, how global warming is affecting the planet, where political unrest is making waves, whether there is beauty in something.

Photos also evoke so much emotion; I have been drawn to tears, been frustrated, felt elated, all of the above. Because of a photo. A single, unmoving remembrance of a particular scene. It’s incredible how much power a “measly” object like a photo can have.

The whole world has been shaken up by photography in more than instance, such as with the Napalm Girl in the Vietnam War. People, or groups of people, have also experienced a sense of happiness through iconic photos like the sailor kissing a nurse on Victory over Japan day.

Then there’s the revolutionary path that modern photography is taking, using bold colors and featuring people making fashion statements to represent a new photo culture – that of the millennials, and of the 21st century. We have photo challenges, like the “ugly location challenge,” where the photographer is supposed to turn a less-than-ideal location into something magical. We are incorporating amazing editing and technological skills to create visionary products.

The camera is the perfect tool to create art and to tell stories with. Someone with a camera, dedication, and passion can go to the ends of the earth and back. That person can use those three resources to share tales, educate people, trigger emotions, create bridges between time periods and peoples, expose problems, celebrate victories, enhance creativity and make a difference.

Passionate and dedicated photographers are unstoppable forces, churning out amazing work and destined to keep doing so. Their boundaries don’t exist. Their work? Powerful. Incredible. Mind-blowing. Imaginative.

How dare you say that photography isn’t art.