What qualifies one as a photographer?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by DSLR noob, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    The other day I was looking through my Facebook at my friends and was amazed to see how many of my friends said that they were photographers on their pages. Later I ask about their exposure and such only to find that many of them are just teenagers who buy a super compact point and shoot, leave it on full auto, and literally, point, then shoot. Some even don't take shots for art but later on just "think a shot looks cool." Many of them know nothing aobut focal length, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, DOF, etc. Then I got to thinknig. Should I even be calling myself a photographer? I mean I have a DSLR yes, and I understand how to use the meter well enough to use it in full time manual but does that make me a photographeR? I do take pictures for the sake of taking pictures, not just snapshots that I later "think look cool" (although it happens). I have only been into my camera since December, only 4 months, is that long enough? Do you need a certain amount of experience? Do your photos have to "wow" others? (sadly I do not think any of my photos are spectacular to others, just friends that know nothing about photography, no one on here) Or do you have to be a paid professional to truly be called a photographer?

    What is your say?
     
  2. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    well...first we must define art....
    just kidding...thats a whole other bag of worms.

    you're a photographer if you take pictures for the sake of taking pictures...if that makes any sense.
     
  3. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    It sounds like the people you're talking about are just looking for labels to tack onto themselves for appearance's sake. It's not just with photography. I've known people who make such claims on their myspace as: "I am a dancer, model, singer, actress, photographer, and entertainer." O rly? Well, I've just written this response post, so now can I call myself a writer?

    What if I
    threw in some
    line breaks--
    (then)
    could I
    call myself
    a
    poet?

    A person can call themselves whatever they want, but some people might challenge that person to convince them. If you feel comfortable calling yourself a photographer, do it. Personally, I pick and choose the situations where I call myself a photographer because a) I'm not making money at it, so it's currently a hobby/passion and not a proper title/profession and b) the possibility of arguing with strangers makes it not worth it to me.
     
  4. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    i got my first SLR in 1995 and have upgraded several times - i now have the equipment listed in my signature.
    I've sold numerous prints and even sold a holiday shot to a calendar for publication in Germany.

    But I woldn't call myself a photographer. I may be better than some at taking pics but that doesn't justify the tag.

    I wouldn't call myself a photographer unless i was a pro or even earning a good proportion of my income from it.
    If pushed i'd say i was an amatuer photographer.

    On the other hand, my website says "I'm a photographer from Blackwood".

    I guess I'd use the label to suit the situation. In general terms I'm not but if it means i get a sale because someone thinks I'm "better" then i'll use it.
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I go with heathens. A photographer is one who makes images with a camera. There are many levels to this, of course, but the definition is pretty broad.
     
  6. StreetShark

    StreetShark TPF Noob!

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    Funny how you listed photographers along side actor, model, and singer


    But really why would you want to be called a photographer? It's a word or a label. I love photography and its pretty much all I ever think/talk about other than school and I could care less if others saw me as a photographer. As long as I'm having fun.
     
  7. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    A friend of mine once questioned my 'photographer' title.
    Her way of defining it was 'Have you made in money from taking pictures?' to which I answered 'Yes'. So to her I am now officially a photographer because I've made oh... $455 (she doesnt need to know the exact amount :) )

    When asked what I do I usually say photographer (aside from my 'real' job), then add how I plan to have my own studio and darkroom within a few years. It will one day be a fulltime thing for me. The only reason I'm working my current job is to fund my future purchases (and pay current bills of course).
     
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Fred is hitting right on my measure of a photographer. When one begins to realize he/she is MAKING photographs (rather than TAKING pictures), taking control of the process... compositon, content, etc.... THAT'S when you become a photographer.

    Pete
     
  9. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    It's funny how they do it. All the people I was thinking of have private profiles now. I guess they realized that people were laughing at them. Myspace has become a lot less amusing now that people can make their profiles private.
     
  10. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    What makes a photographer? Being able to ask for £3,000 for a days work with a straight face :lol:
     
  11. zendianah

    zendianah TPF Noob!

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    I agree with this view... :)
     
  12. gmarquez

    gmarquez TPF Noob!

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    I happen to think that anyone that takes pictures can call themselves a photographer.

    That does not make them a professional photographer (one who does photography as a profession).

    Nor does it make them a good or great photographer (one who takes, on average, good or great photographs).

    I think that it's not a problem for amateurs like myself to call themselves photographers (although I've never called *myself* one).
     

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