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Camera Pro?

I am not a “professional” photographer. Professional means earning a living through photography. The title does not automatically indicate the “quality” of the photographs produced are any better than the “amateur” photographer can create.

There is an implication that to be a “professional” one must be an excellent photographer since someone is willing to pay for your work. That is not true.  Let me make this comparison:

There are many “professional” race car drivers and “professional” golfers.  After the “leader board” there is still a whole bunch of “also ran” that did or perhaps did not finish the contest. They are still  professionals are they not? For awhile anyway… They are good, just not “great” professionals.

Then there are the great unwashed (amateur) masses that race and play golf for the fun… some of them are pretty dang good maybe better than pro, because they are not “on the clock” trying to make a living.

I consider myself a photographer. I don’t need to add any adjectives like “serious”, “casual”, “pro”, “talented”, etc. Just “photographer” is fine with me.  Adjectives are for other people to add if they are so inclined after viewing my efforts.

I like good equipment and I realize the role the camera fills as a tool. The camera does not make the photograph, it captures the image. The competency or skill of the operator makes the photograph and those factors extend far beyond the tool being used. The tool needs to be functional and good quality but in the end, the presented image is what is judged.

I judge an image by what I see. Good images I call photographs. All the others are snap shots, pix, pictures, a capture. I add the word “photo” to that group too. The good to great image deserves the full name, photograph. The person who created a photograph, I consider a photographer.

Not every picture I make is a photograph. But there are enough of them that are, that I feel I can claim the basic title. Some other people agree. That makes me feel good enough.

Wondering about the title Camera Pro at the top? There are people who wear that title. They have a compulsive addiction to owning “perfect” camera gear. Many of them believe photographic perfection starts with the tool. I believe image perfection does, but for me the answer to the question is NO. I am not a camera pro.

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