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Author Topic: At what point do we become 'photographers'?  (Read 6484 times)

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Donvanstaden

« on: August 04, 2013, 08:23 »
0


« 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 »
0
...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 »
0
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 »
0
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 »
0

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 »
0
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 »
0
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.


WarrenPrice

« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2013, 15:39 »
-1
Why make it so complex... of course you are a cook. 
The question didn't really stipulate "professional."  I think Ansel Adams was a photographer long before his stuff started selling.

If you cook, you're a cook.  Maybe not a chef, but I bet you do create your own recipes.

Reminds me of the age-old argument about "runners" and "Joggers."  Many runners are offended by being referred to as a jogger.  Even after completing a marathon, they are referred to as a jogger.
I suppose either is correct or incorrect.  I guess it is in the mind of the beholder?   ??? :-\

« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 15:45 by WarrenPrice »

« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2013, 16:21 »
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hmm ..... I was being a bit provocative (I hope) but maybe the "self described" point is fair if someones says they are a photographer who am I or anyone to judge - I may have an opinion that they are a poor photographer or if I have a bad meal I would say it was cooked by a bad chef but I wouldn't say a chef didn't cook it.

tab62

« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2013, 17:32 »
0
This is getting interesting- I remember one time be inventoried as 'Non-Professional' while working as the network administrator for the U.S. Attorney's office in Northern Texas. I was told that since I was not an attorney I was Non-Professional. Yet, I had my bachelor degree in Computer Science and my Microsoft Certification in Networks.  :-\

« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2013, 18:05 »
-4
One quick addition to my previous response.
If you contribute to ALL top tier agencies you
are a professional photographer. Both SS and
Istock have very standards to become one of
their contributers. In my opinion, if your agencies
comprise of bottom, middle and perhaps DT,
you are a "photographer". 
 

tab62

« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2013, 18:17 »
+2
"One quick addition to my previous response.
If you contribute to ALL top tier agencies you
are a professional photographer. Both SS and
Istock have very standards to become one of
their contributers. In my opinion, if your agencies
comprise of bottom, middle and perhaps DT,
you are a "photographer". "

Me first! If you have not been accepted and graduated from Yuri's boot camp than you are not a professional photographer... 8)


 

« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2013, 22:08 »
0
And then (taking an Outside In approach), there is the question of how the world at large, or at least our immediate community, "see" us.  Hugely relevant in my opinion because otherwise whatever we call ourselves is in our own vacuum  ;)

Ron

« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2013, 02:37 »
+3
One quick addition to my previous response.
If you contribute to ALL top tier agencies you
are a professional photographer. Both SS and
Istock have very standards to become one of
their contributers. In my opinion, if your agencies
comprise of bottom, middle and perhaps DT,
you are a "photographer".

I submit to the top 4 agencies, well I dropped DT, but I am far from being a pro. It has nothing to do with the agencies you submit to

Donvanstaden

« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2013, 04:56 »
+1
A photographer is someone who takes photographs... simple

So my 3 year old daughter takes picture with my ipad sometimes.... is she a photographer?

« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2013, 06:08 »
0
there two important words that I believe we are misunderstanding in this topic: professional and photographer

when a big chunk of your income comes from an activity you are considered a professional even if you work only half an hour per year

being a photographer doesn't mean you need to earn anything with your pictures, you can be a hobbyist and that doesn't make you less photographer, same goes with gear, photography for me is the feeling that you cannot control and need to frame exactly what you have in mind (composition, lighting, etc) and keep that memory forever and the subject doesn't really matter, can be your newborn, a street, a landscape or even the most ridiculous thing but it needs to shine for you (I never waste a single shutter click if I don't feel it)

we could say that studying the all history of photography including the most famous photographers and technics as a part of being a photographer but I guess that is another story

WarrenPrice

« Reply #34 on: August 06, 2013, 07:40 »
+1
Are we agreeing, Luis?  I must be wrong.   ;D

Donvanstaden

« Reply #35 on: August 06, 2013, 07:47 »
+1
there two important words that I believe we are misunderstanding in this topic: professional and photographer

when a big chunk of your income comes from an activity you are considered a professional even if you work only half an hour per year

being a photographer doesn't mean you need to earn anything with your pictures, you can be a hobbyist and that doesn't make you less photographer, same goes with gear, photography for me is the feeling that you cannot control and need to frame exactly what you have in mind (composition, lighting, etc) and keep that memory forever and the subject doesn't really matter, can be your newborn, a street, a landscape or even the most ridiculous thing but it needs to shine for you (I never waste a single shutter click if I don't feel it)

we could say that studying the all history of photography including the most famous photographers and technics as a part of being a photographer but I guess that is another story


Noun

S: (n) photographer, lensman (someone who takes photographs professionally)

« Reply #36 on: August 06, 2013, 07:53 »
0
painter, photographer, potter or whatever.  The goal is to get someone to look at your stuff and mutter, geez this dude is a real artist!

WarrenPrice

« Reply #37 on: August 06, 2013, 08:56 »
+1
there two important words that I believe we are misunderstanding in this topic: professional and photographer

when a big chunk of your income comes from an activity you are considered a professional even if you work only half an hour per year

being a photographer doesn't mean you need to earn anything with your pictures, you can be a hobbyist and that doesn't make you less photographer, same goes with gear, photography for me is the feeling that you cannot control and need to frame exactly what you have in mind (composition, lighting, etc) and keep that memory forever and the subject doesn't really matter, can be your newborn, a street, a landscape or even the most ridiculous thing but it needs to shine for you (I never waste a single shutter click if I don't feel it)

we could say that studying the all history of photography including the most famous photographers and technics as a part of being a photographer but I guess that is another story


Noun

S: (n) photographer, lensman (someone who takes photographs professionally)


photographer [fəˈtɒgrəfə]
n
(Business / Professions) a person who takes photographs, either as a hobby or a profession

Senseless argument.  Not even our dictionaries agree.   ::)

« Reply #38 on: August 06, 2013, 09:55 »
+1
painter, photographer, potter or whatever.  The goal is to get someone to look at your stuff and mutter, geez this dude is a real artist!

.....And fool them into handing over everything from Dollars to Albanian Leks for the privelege of owning a piece of it.

« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2013, 14:26 »
+1
Ron. You're absolutely right. This topic has prompted me to self-examine my skills.  Am I a "professional photographer" or a "photographer"? I have been a professional videographer for many years. Many will think ..........well, he's a pro video shooter, it'll be easy to adapt to photography...................the two skills have no comparison except composition. A photo is one single frame. Many of you can take a very difficult subject and because of your skill level and knowledge create a masterpiece. It was not one "lucky shot" but a difficult subject that you ALWAYS adapt to. I am just beginning. I'm with SS and DT and others. The learning curve is huge. It's what I love about this discipline. There is so much to learn. I know I will never stop learning......thanks again Ron for a simple response to my comment that provided complete personal clarification.

« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2013, 15:32 »
0
Thinking about it, my comments in threads like these tend to be facetious when other people are trying to be serious - but I can't help feeling agitated when people put labels or titles on other people. Perhaps because in my Corporate life I've met plenty of people called Managers or Directors who couldn't manage a pedallo hire business at the seaside or direct an old lady to a coffee shop even if it was right behind them.

Likewise, there are photographers/artists out there who are professional (in that they earn a living from it) but they really ought to be labelled as sales professionals, given their skills in bamboozling clients into paying hard cash for shoddy workmanship.

But what do I know - i would never have thought of slicing a cow in half and shoving it in an aquarium.

lisafx

« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2013, 20:10 »
+1

Me first! If you have not been accepted and graduated from Yuri's boot camp than you are not a professional photographer... 8)

LOL!  Thanks for a welcome laugh ;D

lisafx

« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2013, 20:13 »
0
painter, photographer, potter or whatever.  The goal is to get someone to look at your stuff and mutter, geez this dude is a real artist!

My goal is to get someone to look at my stuff and say "Here's some cash".  ;)

OM

« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2013, 19:46 »
+1
painter, photographer, potter or whatever.  The goal is to get someone to look at your stuff and mutter, geez this dude is a real artist!

My goal is to get someone to look at my stuff and say "Here's some cash".  ;)

Yup! The 'I'm not a photographer guy' is only writing what he writes to get 'photographers' attention so that he can sell you a training video.....he's a marketing guy! Wanna learn about light and zones and that sort of stuff, get Ansel Adams book, "The Negative" and read it. Super cheap, used, cos no-one reads books these days.  ;)

« Reply #44 on: August 11, 2013, 10:26 »
+2
He sounds like a whiny little girl (I had a worse word here) to me.

I make enough money in photography to support my family with a decent annual income. That makes me a professional, even though I use crop frame cameras for everything. I'll consider using a medium format camera if I ever decide to make billboards.

You don't have to be famous or rich to be professional. There are plenty of us middle class photogs around who are just as professional.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #45 on: August 13, 2013, 23:01 »
0
What? A drive by posting. OP has dropped his link on us and delivered the message and now turned and went away?

painter, photographer, potter or whatever.  The goal is to get someone to look at your stuff and mutter, geez this dude is a real artist!

My goal is to get someone to look at my stuff and say "Here's some cash".  ;)

Yup! The 'I'm not a photographer guy' is only writing what he writes to get 'photographers' attention so that he can sell you a training video.....he's a marketing guy! Wanna learn about light and zones and that sort of stuff, get Ansel Adams book, "The Negative" and read it. Super cheap, used, cos no-one reads books these days.  ;)

« Reply #46 on: August 14, 2013, 01:08 »
0
For myself, I considered myself a photographer when I could envision an image and then create the lighting, set the camera and compose the shot that would realize my vision.

I considered myself a professional when my photography business reached the break-even point.

I do not yet consider myself a Fine Artist but it is a goal I am working towards.  I will consider that I have reached it when I can envision an image that represents a concept I feel strongly about and then realize that image to successfully communicate that concept.

To pursue these goals, I have and continue to complete educational activities (both formal and informal) and practice, practice, practice.

« Reply #47 on: August 14, 2013, 06:55 »
0
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!

Chalk one up for Yuri.  His brain washing is starting to work!! :P

« Reply #48 on: September 20, 2013, 02:02 »
0
painter, photographer, potter or whatever.  The goal is to get someone to look at your stuff and mutter, geez this dude is a real artist!

My goal is to get someone to look at my stuff and say "Here's some cash".  ;)

That's the most professional attitude in the whole silly thread. Well done!

lisafx

« Reply #49 on: September 20, 2013, 12:55 »
+1
painter, photographer, potter or whatever.  The goal is to get someone to look at your stuff and mutter, geez this dude is a real artist!

My goal is to get someone to look at my stuff and say "Here's some cash".  ;)

That's the most professional attitude in the whole silly thread. Well done!

;D


 

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