When can you really call yourself a photogapher?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Worker 11811, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    So, you like taking pictures. Does that make you a "real" photographer?
    Not really. You might be a "shutterbug" but not necessarily a "photographer."

    If somebody buys a "really good" camera. What about then?
    Nope. You might be a "camera jockey" but still not a photographer.

    What if you have your own darkroom and develop your own film and make your own prints?
    Maybe... Getting closer. But some famous photographers don't develop a lot of their own. They can just as easily send it to a lab or have their assistant do it. You could still be just a hobbyist even if you had the biggest darkroom in the world. You'd just have to be a rich hobbyist.

    What if you sell a picture for money?
    Now, we're getting somewhere but still not all the way, if you ask me. What if you took the only existing photo of some important event? Abe Zapruder shot the only known film of JFK's assassination but that doesn't make him a filmmaker. Even if ABC News paid him $1,000,000 for the rights to that film it doesn't make him the next Speilberg.

    I have three things that I think make you a "real photographer" not just a "shutterbug" a "camera jockey" or a "hobbyist."

    Reason #1: People stop asking you why you only shoot black and white and simply say, "That's a nice photo."

    Reason #2: You make a photo that it good enough for you to actually frame it and hang it on the wall in your own house.

    Reason #3: (This is the biggie.)
    Somebody else hangs one of your photos one of your photos on the wall in their house.

    I just made all three. People stopped bitching about black and white. I have my own photo gallery on the wall going up the stairs. And, just last week, the third person I gave a photo to hung it on the wall.

    Hey! Now I am a real photographer!
    Yay for me! :D

    Now, if I sell one, can I be a "professional" photographer? :wink: :wink: :wink:
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Congrats on fulfilling your own definition of a "real" photographer. That makes you a photographer. Now your friends will start asking you to photograph their weddings!

    Personally, I am striving to be an unreal photographer...:wink:
     
  3. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    LOL! :D

    I would probably never shoot a wedding for a stranger. Not at this stage of the game, at least. I'd only do it for family and close friends. Even then I would be hesitant.
     
  4. paulie

    paulie Member

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    i canon 5d makes you a photographer
     
  5. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I've been making and selling photos for years, does that make me a photographer? I dont think so(even though at one time i was a member of PPoA), I've been published in several magazines (trade pubs), I display and sell through several outlets and currently have a showing at a public library. Does this make me a photographer? I still dont think so. What I think I am is an enthusiastic amateur, who's been blessed.
     
  6. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Does it matter what you call yourself?
     
  7. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    To some, titles are important.
     
  8. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    > Does it matter what you call yourself?
    Well, it is best not to be delusional. It matters to other people what you call yourself.

    There aren't any fixed criteria for being a photographer. I have a list of attributes I would use. Not any one photographer would meet all the attributes buy anyone meeting a majority would probably be a 'real' photographer:

    • No one would think to call you anything but a photographer;
    • You make your living at it. If you stopped, you would starve;
    • You publish;
    • You belong to one or more professional organizations;
    • You have a formal education in photography.

    All the people who I consider 'real' photographers make their living at it. Their commercial work is digital. Most still have a wet darkroom, though it is usually all dried up. Few of them are on APUG.

    I guess that last one makes the whole thing rather irrelevant...
     
  9. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Your over-thinking it. Its much simpler than that. Photographer:a person who takes photographs.
     
  10. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    I scored half a point on #1 and scored full marks for #2 & #3, but I wouldn't call myself a photographer on a business card. As for making a living out of it or doing weddings....<shudder>.


    Sure it does - Certainly a lot better than what some people call me :eek:
     
  11. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Woo Hoo! I qualify too. :rolleyes:

    As far as I'm concerned, a "Photographer" is ANYONE who makes a "Photo".

    It's kinda like calling myself a beer drinker, I drink beer therefore I am. :smile:

    I think it makes more sense to define proficiency, specialization, activeness, motivation, and commercial success within Photography separately, i.e. Henri Catier-Bresson was an avid photographer who was exceptional at composition, finding interesting subjects, who did it for the money, and enjoyed commercial success.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2010
  12. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    <Posted via APUG mobile wap service..>

    So, I love women. I guess I\'m a lesbian. (Oh, so this what the outside of the closet looks like)

    Ya know, just make beautiful photographs and let history be the judge.
     
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  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    It's not when you call yourself a photographer, It's when people who are photographers call you one.
     
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  15. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    That's the one for me!
     
  16. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    If you're another woman. Are you trying to tell us something?
     
  17. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Today... now get out there and make some pictures.

    There, wasn't that easy?
     
  18. eddym

    eddym Member

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    I have been shooting and selling photographs since 1988; but I had always had a "day job" until 1999, when I resigned from it. After that, I began to be faced with that big question that you are always asked whenever you are introduced to a person: "And what do you do?" I found it rather unsettling; an existential crisis of sorts. What I really wanted to answer (and sometimes did) was, "I open doors for cats."
    So I faced my crisis of identity and made up my mind what I was: a photographer. It was how I defined myself, and I still do.
    But I also still open doors for cats.
    And neither job pays well.
     
  19. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    No Chris, you are a lesbian trapped in a mans body.
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Chris is a man who thinks he is a woman and that woman believes she is really a man in a woman's body. Little wonder that Chris always feels so deleted!
    :munch: :munch: :munch: :munch: :munch: :munch:


    Steve
     
  21. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I like that one! I seem to have fumbled along to a point where some people who know me and my work describe me to others as a "photographer," but I'm not sure that's enough for me to really seize the title. I do it as a hobby, I'm fairly serious about it, and have been doing it for over fifty years, but it's still a hobby. It's just that now that I'm removed from the affliction of working for a living, I can spend a little more time on it.
     
  22. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    About the hobby thing -- when people ask me if photography is a hobby, I reply it is a passion. Perhaps that would be another indicator that one is a photographer.
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Is your definition of a photographer a gwc or someone who thinks they are a photographer but only is a gwc or someone who is serious about composing a photograph, a commercial photographer or a paparazzi?

    I call myself a photographer to separate myself from the terrorists and the social-sexual perverts who call themselves photographers.
     
  24. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    So... when do they call themselves photographers? When do you call someone else a photographer?
     
  25. Focus No. 9

    Focus No. 9 Member

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    I have a B&W of my friend the Nikonian taken with my digital p&s. He's moved away. I've decided to get the shot printed and to display it. When someone asks who he is I will reply "that's so and so the photographer" ~because that's his dream.
     
  26. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Used to do it professionally (got paid for it) for many, many years. Now I do something else (framing) in my semi retirement, as I just couldn't face another wedding or Debutante ball! In those days I called myself a photographer, because that was all I did.
    Someone asked the other day if I was still doing weddings, to which I hastily replied no. Her friend quipped, Oh I didn't tell you, Tony is no longer a photographer.:sad: