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Author Topic: At what point do we become 'photographers'?  (Read 6489 times)

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Donvanstaden

« on: August 04, 2013, 08:23 »
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2013, 08:49 »
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I'm not really interested in making "fine art decor for people's walls". :P

Ron

« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2013, 09:10 »
+1
Funny, I am not a photographer, really, I am one of those amateurs that picked up a DSLR and started making money by creating images. But I have never called myself a photographer. When people ask me if I am, I say no, but I do tell them that I take photos and make some money with it. I never said I am a photographer because I do realize it takes a lot of skills and creativity to be a true photographer and to be a photographer by profession. But now it seems that he has just promoted me to his level, because I am not a photographer too.

tab62

« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2013, 10:10 »
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-I'm not really interested in making "fine art decor for people's walls"-

You may not be interested in making Fine art decor but you do understand the foundations, very well,  thus explaining why you're in the top 10% of your profession! With your solid background you could take a P&S camera and tap dance on a lot of folks with their fancy cameras to include myself!

 The article is true about a lot of folks just grabbing a high end camera (i.e. D800) and feeling they are 'Photographer' - I have actually seen some claim they now can do wedding photography due to the camera! Sad but true. And with the new 41mp cell phones there are going to be even more 'So-Called' Photographers...


T

EmberMike

« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2013, 10:27 »
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...The article is true about a lot of folks just grabbing a high end camera (i.e. D800) and feeling they are 'Photographer'...

You don't even need to go that high-end to see people calling themselves pros these days.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2013, 10:35 »
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A rose is a rose is a rose; a rose by any other name is a rose.
 ::) ::) ::)

tab62

« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2013, 10:58 »
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Here is a definition of a a professional- "Somebody who gets paid for what they do"  Thus if someone makes a few dollars taking photos they are now professionals- but are they?  In many fields (i.e. Accounting) there are educational and certification requirements thus defining who are the professionals in that particular field. In photography what would be parameters? Experience, earnings? I've been told by many that a degree in photography in a waste of money where if you want to be an accountant you must get a degree especially if you want to be an CPA.  There is one major reason being a "Photographer" doesn't garner the respect as a professional...

Ron

« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2013, 11:14 »
+1
No, if you take a few dollars you are not a professional. Your main income needs to be from photography and then you can call yourself a professional. But that also doesnt mean you are a professional photographer. Just that your job is photography.

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2013, 11:17 »
+3
To answer directly to the question expressed in the title: "At what point do we become 'photographers'?"

From my point of view we become photographers at the moment we are able to imagine the result without to have to look in the viewfinder.
This include the choice of the point of view, the framing and eventually the position of the lights if you work in studio.

Make money or not has nothing to do with "to be" a photographer.

tab62

« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2013, 11:26 »
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Has anyone seen this guy's video? The EXposed video cost $79 - wonder if it is worth it? I have no formal training myself- I did watch and do most of the strobist labs but anything that can help me in lighting and composition is something I would love to improve upon...

« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2013, 19:16 »
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One of the useful points Gavin Seim makes is to be more specific than to call oneself a photographer - similarly to how rather uninformative it is to refer to oneself simply as a writer - much more meaningful to say one photographs milestone events for clients, or freelances for X magazine....

Uncle Pete

« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2013, 21:54 »
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People can have opinions and argue semantics all day and all night. Professional athletes are people who receive money. Simple and done. Amateur status vs Professional is based on one simple criteria. Did you get paid to do what you do.

Persons receiving financial return, are professionals.


« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2013, 22:19 »
+1
People can have opinions and argue semantics all day and all night. Professional athletes are people who receive money. Simple and done. Amateur status vs Professional is based on one simple criteria. Did you get paid to do what you do.

Persons receiving financial return, are professionals.

That's just your opinion.  ;) 

tab62

« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2013, 23:16 »
+1
we become just a 'photographer' when we buy our Nokia 41mp cell/camera phone   ;)


ps-

After mentioning so much about this phone I had stupid dream that someone bought on for my birthday! I woke up in cold sweat thinking it was real!



Beppe Grillo

« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2013, 01:39 »
0
People can have opinions and argue semantics all day and all night. Professional athletes are people who receive money. Simple and done. Amateur status vs Professional is based on one simple criteria. Did you get paid to do what you do.

Persons receiving financial return, are professionals.


More precisely I'd say that people working with the aim to be paid for their work are professionals.
But this does not imply that they are receiving a financial return, unfortunately.

« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2013, 03:40 »
+2
Wow can't believe i wasted 10 minutes of my life reading this article, this guy can really babble on about nothing! well i suppose he is getting paid for the blog ads   ;)

If you have a camera and take regular photos of not just family snaps and are interested in photography you are an amateur
If you can make some money then maayyybe you're a semi pro!  if you make your living from photography then ! Youre a professional period! How someone values your work well! Something about in the eye of the beholder i believe!

Peace out!  8)


Ron

« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2013, 05:41 »
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I love it how he claims to be a writer in one of his comments, basically doing the same to the professional writers as what he accuses the amateur photographers of doing to his trade. Also he is now claiming to create furniture, instead of images. LOL. You cant come up with that stuff if you wanted to.  ;D

« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2013, 07:02 »
+1
Sorry but I thought the piece was a load of cack.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 07:05 by Red Dove »

« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2013, 10:19 »
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I am a photographer, am I not? And altough I am mostly an amateur, I do get paid for my photos.

Now, gladly that is not my main income. Life would be very tough.  ;D

lisafx

« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2013, 13:51 »
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If you have a camera and take regular photos of not just family snaps and are interested in photography you are an amateur
If you can make some money then maayyybe you're a semi pro!  if you make your living from photography then ! Youre a professional period!

This is my understanding too.   8)

« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2013, 14:19 »
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As a general rule, if at least most of your monthly income comes from art, you're an artist.

Then again, there's the "pennyless artist" category but that's another story, these are recognized artists that for whatever reason (alcoholism, sickness, drugs, etc) are having it rough and cannot pay the bills but that in the past were able to do exhibitions or other ways to exchange their art for money of at least food.

What the see nowadays instead are self-appointed "artists" and "photographers" who never won any award, never sold a single image or print, but feel entitled to call themselves Pros because of some positive feedbacks and comments on Flickr and Instagram.

Don't be fooled by these clowns, either you're a pro or you're a deluded amateur.

Now, back to OP's link ... is that guy calling himself Portraitist and Pictorialist earning 100% of his salary from selling prints or digital products ? If so, yes he's a photographer, if not sorry he's just a hobbyist and i'm not much impressed by his academic snapshots, that's the typical fake fine-art cr-ap you see on Flickr of 500px done by pixel peepers using the most expensive gear, usually technically good stuff that lacks any real creativity or artistic touch but don't dare to tell them as they all tend to consider themselves the new Ansel Adams no matter if they haven't sold a 5$ print on RedBubble.







« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2013, 14:28 »
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As for the concept that a camera is just a tool and bla bla bla.

Fine, we all agree on that, but your artwork and your artist status depends on the media and the tools you use !
They're not so easily interchangeable as he claims.

A painter is using brushes and inks to paint on a canvas, a photographer is using a camera in order to make prints, a digital artist will eventually scan or take photos of real life and of paintings and mix them up with maybe some added stuff done on a Wacom tablet .. that's what you can get in the best scenario of "mixed techniques" more or less but if the end product is a digital print, sorry you're still more a photographer than a painter.

Now, there's a niche where painters paint over prints, ok, but to me it's still 70% photography and 30% painting.
Technically "mixed technique" of course and many people rave about it, to each his own.

The moral of the story is, if that guy left photography is because he wasn't good enough, maybe he's better try a mixed style to make a pop-art soup and see what sticks, consider that nowadays even a dog can throw an exhibition pretending to be a refined pop-artist everything is possible.

The last cr-ap i've seen recently are painting by impoverished street kids sold by greedy NGOs for big bucks to idiot tourists for what could be worth an average monthly salary.

That's a fine example of "added value" and exploitation, but i'm not sure those kids could now call themselves "painters".



« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 14:33 by Xanox »

« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2013, 14:45 »
+2
A photographer is someone who takes photographs... simple


« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2013, 15:26 »
-5
Who do you contribute to? If its bottom tier or middle tier....I would say: no. If you contribute to ALL of the top tier, I would judge you as a professional photographer.

lisafx

« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2013, 15:27 »
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A photographer is someone who takes photographs... simple

Not sure it's quite that simple.  I cook dinner for my family every night.  I would not call myself a "chef", nor even "a cook".  I would only self-identify as a cook if I cooked for a living.



 

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