Over the years there have been many debates about is photography art? Or can a photographer be considered an artist? I have read many articles, seen different online forums and talked with many different photographers about this and it led me to this question. What makes a photographer?
With all of the digital technology available to almost anyone with a budget what makes a person a photographer? Anyone can go out an buy a great camera and anyone can learn to take beautiful photos, but when do you call yourself a photographer? You can look at some beautiful images and say to yourself, “wow, that is amazing” but (if you’re like me) you then ask, well is that photography or graphic design? Either way I find it beautiful and thought provoking, but if I were to categorize it I don’t know what I would put it under.
Susan Sontag wrote a book of essays called On Photography and in it she discussed the differences in types of photography. A true documentary photographer does not interfere or set up a shot, they just photograph the moment as it happens. I don’t think we would have images with the amount of impact we have today if it was not for photojournalists who tell the story with photographs rather than words.
But then I find myself wondering about those photographers who are in such control and take such contrived images. I notice that I fall more into this category. I love to control the light, the pose the mood and create an image that is my vision. Some of the most respected photographers in the world create work like this. But it is so different than the photojournalist’s work. Is one better than the other? No. Is one more difficult than the other? That depends on the individual.
So maybe being a photographer is subjective. Just because your aunt or cousin went out and bought a camera and loves to take photos while on vacation that may not make her a photographer, but it does make them someone who enjoys photography. On the other hand, a photographer could be considered someone who has mastered their craft, or is mastering their craft. They pursue the trade with passion and are intent on creating the best images they can possibly create whether it is to tell a story of a day, create a work of art, or to document actual events as they unfold.
There are many different types of photography as well as many different types of people. Photography can be enjoyed by everyone, but what makes you a photographer? I think this is a question every photographer should ask themselves. Ask it and challenge yourself to find the answer!
I normally photograph in my studio or at a location I have control over. Last month I had the chance to document a wonderful moment, my past clients and now very good friends Danielle and Nate were pregnant with their first baby. I was lucky enough to be there and experience Landon being born, below is the slideshow. It’s a little different from the work I normally post here but I was so happy to do this for my friends and get to document such a wonderful moment in their lives and mine!
Click on the link to view this amazing event in their lives…