Photography | When Can I Call Myself a Photographer?
Thoughts in the night
All photos are mine.
It’s late in the night, it’s dark and quiet, and I’m on my first out of five night shifts. Spending eight hours alone in complete silence makes you think. This time I’ve been thinking a lot about photography and education, and I felt like writing them down and sharing them with you. I would also like to know what you guys think about it and if you think I’m wrong. I find that very interesting.
Okay, so I’ve been taking photos regularly for almost two years now. I’ve watched photography courses such as “The fundamentals of photography” at creativelive.com, a wedding photography course and flash photography course. I’ve watched many many YouTube clips about photography, I’ve had a lot of photo-shoots, I've shot at a wedding and I’m out photographing many times a week. My Instagram feed is mostly beautiful landscape photos, and I follow great photographers to learn from the best. Everytime I go hiking, or there’s some sort of social event I bring my camera with me. A lot of what I do on a regular basis revolves around photography. But, I still don’t feel like I can call myself a photographer quite yet.
So what does it take to call yourself a “photographer”? Do I need a photography business and get paid for what I do? An education? I’m not sure. I do know that you don’t need to go to photography school to be good at photography. I’ve seen many people take amazing photos and are doing everything “by the book” who don’t have that kind of education, but still call themselves a photographer. In many cases these people are a lot better at it than people who went to photography school. Photography is an art form, and I think you need to have “an eye” for it. Yes, everyone can be a “picture-taker”, but you have to educate yourself and practice a lot to become a good photographer. Being able to capture a moment between two people and actually feel something when you see that picture is in my opinion, art. And behind that photo is a good photographer.
I really want to call myself a photographer in the nearest future, but I’m not sure what the criteria are. I know people with no education who are photographers with businesses that are doing good, so I do believe you don’t need to go to school for it. It’s possible to do it on your own. At least if your planning on starting your own photography business. Your portfolio and the way you work should count more than a piece of paper.
So when will I start calling myself a photographer? I don’t know. I have to educate myself more by watching different photography courses, and just learn a lot more about photography. And practice. A lot. I don’t feel like I know enough yet, and I want to be 100% confident in what I do before I call myself a photographer.