I'm still a little confused...
So, Tiger Woods, when he won his first Green Jacket, was not a Golfer, because he was an amatuer???
An individual who has his/her work shown in a gallery or other venue, but has not yet sold a photo, is not a photographer???
My daughter's a REALLY good Whiner...but then again, but she can't be, 'cause I'll be damned if I'm gonna pay her for it...LOL
Can't I be a Diesel Truck Mechanic AND a Photographer AND a Golfer AND a Court Jester??? If I'm good at them all of them(Which I'm not!) but I only get paid for being the Court Jester, why can't I be them all???
One thing I am definitely NOT:
"Amateur" ... <French <Latin, amator, lover < amare, to love.
One who does art or science for the love of doing it, rather than monetary gain.
Not bad. I do not mind that label at all.
Money is all right as well, - but not a PRIMARY concern.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
I am a photographer by Hobby
That is how I postion myself at the moment. Photography is a creative release I need to exist, its my passion and its been therapy in dealing with my dad's death a few months ago. I have recieved compliments from friends and even my public relations professor at Ryerson University who is also an avid Leica fan and shoot film. I am not a pro and I don't pretend to be one but if I can make some extra cash to buy gear....well then titles are flexible.
"Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
Being a photographer has nothing necessarily to do with money. If you consider photography to be your work (your most serious work concern in your life) you are a photographer. Having an exhibit in a gallery does not necessarily make anyone a photographer any more than having an article published makes someone a writer. It is a function of the importance you place on it in your own life--something you emotionally do full-time, no matter how many hours you can actually put in.
No you cannot be a golfer and a photographer unless each have equal and all-consuming importance in your life. And it would be an extremely rare person who could do both full-time, while also working at a job, or even without the necessity of having a job. If you occasionally golf or occasionally photograph you are someone who golfs and photographs. If, on the other hand, you think about golf or photography or one or the other every spare minute and some not spare minutes, if you keep up with the field--read the journals, read the books, keep tabs on exhibitions/events even if you are unable to go to them, know the history, care about the history, care about current trends (whether they find their way into your own work or not), and, of course, constantly make your own photographs and think about making them, then yes, you are probably a photographer. But if you do not devote that kind of time and phychic energy to it you are not a photographer.
It comes down to a state of mind. As I said before, if you consider photography to be your work, with all that entails, whether or not you ever make a dime from it, you are a photographer.
Amateurs can be photographers, of course. But usually they are just people who make photographs.
Other thoughts: we all (or most of us probably) cook. Are we cooks? Most of us drive. Are we drivers? Yes, of course we are, but only in the most meaningless sense of the words cooks and drivers. Those who call themselves cooks or chefs are those that do it full time. Same with drivers. The same holds for photographers.
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Mr. Smith makes some very interesting points.
I love photography. I, personally, am not sure that my "strength of obsession" lessens or for that matter, increases that affection for, or committment to, the Art.
Am I a "Photographer"? (note capitalization)
Well, I take photographs. I love to take photographs.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Okay, is the horse dead yet?
Nope, it think I saw some agonal breathing. Let's give him another whack!
So...if I'm a Photographer working in a Photo Studio and spend the requisite amount of time (whatever that is) reading and working my craft, but make horrible photographs, I'm still a Photographer.
But, if I'm a Carpet Installer subcontracting to Home Depot, that spends a few hours each weekend taking amazing photographs, I'm not a Photographer??? I know, the answer is "No. You're a Carpet installer who takes amazing photographs."
Michael: I'm with you on this one (believe it or not). I'm just not happy with the hard fast rule that This is what I do, so this is what I am. I think that the label confirms some degree of validity or competancy, which I have repeatedly found to be inappropriately placed (not here, of course). I think that the proof is in the pudding. My work product determines whether or not I should be labeled as a Photographer, Golfer, Diesel Truck Mechanic or Dentist. I dare say that I'm none of these, but would one day like to be thought of as a Photographer...
It may never come to pass, but the journey will sure be a fun one.
Just to throw a twist into the discussion I met a guy at a Christmas Party who was taken photos of all the couples as they came in. One Digi camera, laptop and inkjet printer later he was flogging the 'portraits' to anyone stupid enough to shell out for it.
I naturally got talking to the guy and asked how he got into photography.
'Oh no mate, i'm not a photographer, doesn't interest me at all. I do this 'cause it's easy money.'
So, a man who is paid to take pictures, not a photographer?
I don't think titles are restricted to careers. There are some professional titles that you cannot use without a "license" due to legal restrictions. You cannot be a doctor or a lawyer without the appropriate license. I don't think you can practise medicine out of your home. I believe you can actually be an auto mechanic without taking it up as a profession. I don't think being a chef is about working in a restaurant, I think it's more about the training and the methods used to prepare foods. Not everyone that thinks they are a chef are, but there are clowns that have law degrees that I wouldn't consider lawyers as well.
Were are the well known artists and poets employed as such or have we given them the titles because their work demonstrates that they were indeed artists and poets?
I don't call myself a photographer. I don't even refer to myself as a "student" of photography, but I have seen a number of hobbyists that know the methods and produce great photos. I also know of people that are "employed" as photographers and their work is absolute crap IMO. Why do people pay them? Perhaps they just don't know better. We live in a society in which we need written instructions telling us not to use a hairdryer while in the bathtub.
I’m pretty depressed. Between this thread and the “holy crap” thread, I have learned this morning that I can’t be either a photographer or an artist!!
Let’s see: I earn my living as an auditor. I have credentials (certification) in this field, and my business cards say “Senior Auditor”. Yet, when I leave the office (and often while I’m still there if I’m honest) I cease thinking about auditing. It IS NOT my passion, yet there is no dispute about my being an auditor.
(I’m good at it, too.)
I started out professional life as a musician. (A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …) I have credentials in this field also, made money at it, taught it, etc. But, the stress of making a living sucked the joy out of the passion for the art, so I know longer do it “professionally”. However, my skills are still there, and I still – inarguably – consider myself a “musician”. Perhaps, though, not a “professional musician”.
Does it bother (“real”) musicians that any kid with a guitar and 1000s of watts of amplification can make money at music and call themselves a musician? I suppose on a certain level, yes. However, not so much, since we all know crap when we hear it!
OK, so I’m not a photographer.
I’m an amateur who takes pictures.
Also owns a lot of gear (and a piano … :rolleyes: ) reads, keeps up with the changes, knows and cares about the history, etc.
No offense to anyone, of course.