I throw this question out once in a while just for everyone to think about: Really, what makes a photographer different than everyone else with a camera?
Say, this is a classroom. If I threw this question out to my students, what would be the answers I would get? Let’s list them:
A photographer is one who seriously takes pictures for a living
A photographer is more serious about the artistic side of photography
A photographer is more into taking a lot of pictures than the other people with cameras
A photographer thinks more like an artist, rather than an everyday camera person.
A photographer has equipment to match his talent
A photographer can take more types of photos than just snapshots
A photographer has taken the time to learn all about composition and what makes a photo right.
A photographer has a passion for his photos, and you generally don’t see his bad pictures.
I saw an article written by a photographer, where the same question was asked of him. His response: “Technology doesn’t change the way photography is. It makes it available to more people which means there going to be much much more really terrible pictures taken or pictures that are totally dependent on subject which is all right.”
“I mean if you there when the Hindenburg caught on fire and you took a picture – that’s a great photograph. But you are not a great photographer because you can’t repeat that in everyday things. What a great photographer does is that they are consistently able to make something in a style that’s personal to themselves.”
— Ken Van Sickle
AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE IS A PHOTO OF PROBABLY THE MOST WELL KNOWN PHOTOGRAPHER EVER, THE LATE ANSEL ADAMS. HERE IS A QUOTE FROM HIM THAT I THINK EVERY SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHER SHOULD TAKE TO HEART:
“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
THE TOP 8 ANSWERS GIVEN IN A CLASSROOM ABOVE:
ALL ARE CORRECT.
A story on Facebook: a person posts on Facebook: I am looking for a Photographer to take a picture of my family. Does anyone know a good photographer. (This person knows you are a photographer). They are hoping you will do it for free. What should you do?
A good response: If they want free pictures, they will get responses like this: John: I know my friend takes really good photos. He took some great ones of our family with his IPhone 6. Would you like me to have him call you?
Another answer: I had a friend that took my family photos, and he didn’t charge me anything. They were pretty good. His name is: XXXXXXXX.
Or one more: I know a student who is trying to earn a few bucks just to help him to earn some money for college. But, he took a course in photography in high school. He’s pretty good. If you want someone real good, I could have him contact you.
And then someone who knows you says: Look, I know you want it cheap or free, but, if you really want good photos, don’t do it cheap. It’s your kids! Get a good photographer, and have XXXXXXX do it. Yeah, he will charge you for it, but it will be so worth it because he puts his heart into every photo. Do yourself a favor and just call him. You know where he lives and his number.
Finally you respond on Facebook: I would be happy to do it for you. Because you are my friend, I will give you a discount. Give me a call. (That’s what he was really hoping for)
Photo by Valerie Cox and MB Click It Studios
So, if you ever want to BE a photographer, you now know what it takes to do it. There is a definite bridge between being a “Photographer” and just a snapshot shooter. Which one are you?