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  1. #1
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    When can you really call yourself a photogapher?

    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!

    Now, if I sell one, can I be a "professional" photographer?
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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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...
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  3. #3
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    LOL!

    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.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  4. #4
    paulie's Avatar
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    i canon 5d makes you a photographer

  5. #5
    Rick A's Avatar
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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.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  6. #6
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Does it matter what you call yourself?
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

  7. #7
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
    Does it matter what you call yourself?
    To some, titles are important.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  8. #8
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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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...
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
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  9. #9
    fotch's Avatar
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    Your over-thinking it. Its much simpler than that. Photographer:a person who takes photographs.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  10. #10
    paul_c5x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    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 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>.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
    Does it matter what you call yourself?
    Sure it does - Certainly a lot better than what some people call me

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