What is a "Photographer"?

March 30, 2012  •  5 Comments

 

Tampa Bay Commercial Photographer "An artist is constantly making images that inspire them."

 

I pose this question because in this day in the digital age anyone can get a  semi professional or professional grade camera and call themselves a photographer so I decided to elaborate on the meaning behind the word photographer and my own opinion what it means and the categories.

Merriam Webster's defines a "Photographer" has one who practices photographyespecially : one who makes a business of taking photographs.  I believe that this term has evolved to have a broader meaning and cover hobbyist also. 

The "Hobbyist Photographer" is a person who enjoys taking pictures or may shoot part time for money. They may photograph product, weddings or models on the weekends. Just because you make some money part time with it does not make you a professional no more than fixing a neighbors toilet for extra cash would make you a "Professional Plumber"

 "Professional Photographers"  earn "100%" of their income from photography. They are competent in their jobs and have years of experience and learning behind them. They have invested a lot of time and money into honing their skills to give their customers the best possible product.  

Now, there are also "Artistic Photographers" and "Artistic Professional Photographers" .  Just because you are a photographer or professional photographer does not automatically make you an artist. A photographer can take a good picture but an artist can "make" a great picture. An artist is not just taking photos for money but for themselves also, they are constantly shooting either with their camera or their phone.  Making images of everything that inspires them.

 

How do you define the word photographer? Do you consider yourself a photographer or a professional photographer? Do you think of yourself has a true artist? Would love to hear everyone's opinions.


Comments

5.Juan el cubano(non-registered)
Money shouldn't matter, and the analogy doesn't work. Michael Jordan is Retired, but he's still a Professional Basketball Player till he dies. Tyson Is a Boxer, even though he doesnt Box, just as a National Geographic Photographer may get layed off due to the economy, he's still a professional! I don't Label any one pro, rookie, artistic, I say Let everyone and anyone snap shots, and enjoy the trade as you and i do, with no labels!! Anyone is capable of creating art, an creating a masterpiece, and no matter what you consider it in your eyes, doesn't neccesarily mean the next person wont find it to be Ansel Adams Quality!! Have fun, make money, record history, make memories, take pictures any way it makes you happy, screw the labels!! :)
4.Tommy Post(non-registered)
PS... I am open about the fact that I am relatively new as a Pro. I was a hobbyist as far back as the late 80's and have only recently taken the big leap. I'm glad I did and often wonder why I didn't sooner. I hope I didn't miss the blog on the "pro-photographer" who asks for dates when a model contacts him ;)
3.Tommy Post(non-registered)
I am now 100% pro as this is my only income. I absolutely agree that an artist is separated into his/her own category. There are photographers in Sears Portrait Studio who only earn income by shooting... yet there is no artistry at all. Good thought provoking blog Jonothan.
2.Ron Guerin(non-registered)
I been a shooter since 1984 so I hope I rank up their as a award winning photographer.
1.Brent Allen(non-registered)
I agree with you 100% here! I earn 100% of my income from photography!
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