Some thoughts on what makes a photographer.

There is a broad spectrum of photographers. There are people who will never shoot a wedding, they’ll never shoot a portrait session, they’ll never own the latest and greatest gear, they’ll never own a photography studio, they will never have a certification, but they’re absolutely amazing photographers.

What about Nour Kelze?  She was an English teacher in Syria who was given a camera and a week’s training on how to use it and is now a war photographer who’s images are seen by more people in 5 minutes than will see our images in a lifetime. Is she not a photographer? I think she is.

Just because somebody doesn’t do the same kind of photography you do, doesn’t have any certifications, doesn’t have any connections to the industry doesn’t mean that they aren’t a photographer. Just because you don’t go to shoot war zones, don’t shoot street photography, don’t shoot architecture, don’t shoot landscapes, don’t shoot wildlife, or don’t shoot macro work doesn’t mean *you* aren’t a photographer.

Just because somebody doesn’t necessarily make money off of their photography or doesn’t define themselves as a “professional” doesn’t mean that they aren’t a photographer. By that definition, Vivian Maier wouldn’t be considered a photographer and she is being revealed to be one of the greatest photographers of all time. Nobody saw a single image of hers in her lifetime, so she never sold any of them, so does that make her a fauxtographer or just a camera owner? If it does, I would fall into that category, not that I’m comparing myself to Vivian Maier. So, it’s hard not to be a bit insulted by definitions of what a photographer should be if you don’t fall into the cookie cutter definitions that some people use.

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