I’m A Photographer

March 23rd, 2012 § 0 comments

In My Photographic Opinion

Have you ever been asked, “Are you an amateur or pro photographer?”

I have often thought about this question. It is almost as popular as the camera question: “What camera do you use?” Most of the time it does not concern me, but there are those occasions when it rubs me the wrong way.

Labels have always been a part of human history. It is a way of identifying and being identified. Not all labels bad, but sometimes they can create negative emotions or divisions in people.

The labels in question are used to describe photographers, and they have often been used to divide them. An insecure photographer will often use it to create classes and leverage themselves over other photographers, especially in the realm of opinion. This was clearly a trend during the 19th and 20th centuries. But, as we have entered the 21st century, we have seen an explosion in education and collaboration amongst photographers, and an ever decreasing line between pro and non-pros.

When I am asked whether I am a pro or amateur, I simply say that I am a photographer. I say it unapologetically and boldly. I have also used this label on others when they try to explain themselves. Just say, “I’m a photographer.”

I am not trying to criticize, but simply express my opinion on the matter. I was asked once if I was a pro, and I simply answered, “Yes”. But, they questioned my answer by asking if I got paid. I said, “No”.

I thought about it for a moment and told them that it was like asking whether I was a prostitute or a lover. Both do the same thing, but one gets paid to do it. They laughed and saw my point. I do not think professional photographers are prostitutes, but it was the closest analogy I had to prove my point.

What are your thoughts? I’d like to hear them. Remember, do not be afraid to call yourself a photographer.

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