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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> When did you know you were truly a "photographer"
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05/30/2007 01:48:56 PM · #1
Just curious at what point did you go from just some guy with a camera, to a true "photographer". Like what point did you realize you could make money at this, rather that doing it for a hobby? Im not nearly at that point yet, but i hope to be one day.
05/30/2007 02:09:34 PM · #2
I still don't feel like I'm truely at that point, but then I;m not sure I want to be. I'd rather like to think that I'm still on my way to being great than actually being there.

Having said that...when other people started complimenting me and meaning it, it was a good start. Then when my art teacher was impressed and talked me into entering a photo contest, well that helped too. When I won a state awar of excellence and a national award of merit in that contest when I was 16...that's what really lit a fire under my butt.

But then I came here, and that cooled down my ego quite a bit, but I think this site has made me more of an actual "photographer" than I could have ever been on my own. Thanks DPC :'D
05/30/2007 02:29:46 PM · #3
some guy with a camera? aaahhheemmm!!

lol.

I haven't gotten to the money making thing yet (well, ok I worked in a studio for a year and as a school photogapher for another but that barely counts) BUT I think I realized it when I finally had the confidence to.

Since I was little I was really obsessed with photos. I felt I had to be the one to document things because my parents weren't really picture people and I never had that many baby photos except from my grandparents. In high school I took some photography classes where my teacher said one of my photos was one of his favorite student photos. Then after that I stopped for a while.

I really got into it when I decided to move to California. I thought, now is the time to pursue this, and I have to my own extent. And my boyfriend has been there every step of the way giving me confidence and pushing me further.

Message edited by author 2007-05-30 15:02:35.
05/30/2007 02:30:11 PM · #4
I don't consider myself a real photographer yet.. I'm too little.
=P

But I've done a bunch of paid shoots already. They never pay much and they don't want anything fancy, but it's fun and it gives me something to concentrate on. I started that by volunteering to take random pictures at school, at church, and at work. If they need something photographed, jump in and they'll get used to it. Then maybe sometime you'll end up taking pictures at your boss's third wedding.. or something..

If it worked for me, it'll work for anyone.
=)
05/30/2007 02:31:07 PM · #5
Photography is still a hobby for me and I still have a lot to learn so I don't consider myself to be a "true photographer" but rather a "photographer". An important point to be a "true photographer" according to me is to master lightning techniques (both in studio and outside) and have a good knowledge of compositions rules. There are other specific rules you have to apply but these are specific to what you photograph (person, flower, insect, landscape, etc.)

I knew I was a photographer when a friend asked me to take pictures of him for an article in a magazine. It feels great to see some of your pictures in a magazine or in a journal.
05/30/2007 03:02:37 PM · #6
Originally posted by kawana:

...at what point did you go from just some guy with a camera, to a true "photographer". Like what point did you realize you could make money at this...


A "true photographer", as you say, would, the way I see it, be good enough of a craftsman -and, perhaps, an artist- to stay motivated.

While making money by it can help stabilize the adventure, it can also contribute to a shift of focus. If one makes money by it, it may do well to ask oneself which of the two will likely conjure the better pictures, the "professional" or the "amateur"?
05/30/2007 03:11:17 PM · #7
Originally posted by zeuszen:

Originally posted by kawana:

...at what point did you go from just some guy with a camera, to a true "photographer". Like what point did you realize you could make money at this...


A "true photographer", as you say, would, the way I see it, be good enough of a craftsman -and, perhaps, an artist- to stay motivated.

While making money by it can help stabilize the adventure, it can also contribute to a shift of focus. If one makes money by it, it may do well to ask oneself which of the two will likely conjure the better pictures, the "professional" or the "amateur"?

Hmm the parts i understood made alot of sense lol :D
05/30/2007 03:15:37 PM · #8
As soon as you use a camera, you are a photographer. It is just a matter of how experienced you are. When I used a camera as a little boy, I became a photographer, much as when I started driving, I became a driver.

As with most things in life, it is a matter of degrees, you start as a novice and work from there. In my case, I am still a novice. Why, cos each time I change camera, the learning starts again. When I changed from film to digital, I returned to novice state as I worked my way through controls and settings.
05/30/2007 03:20:01 PM · #9
Originally posted by kawana:

...at what point did you go from just some guy with a camera, to a true "photographer". Like what point did you realize you could make money at this...

i've been into photography for over 30 years, but it's only been in the past 3 that i've really, really pushed myself to develop the skills necessary to realize my visions.

a couple of years ago, i built up enough critical mass that my wife suggested/insisted that i give it a proper go and pursue it fulltime. i've never looked back.

that 'critical mass' consisted of having worked at the craft enough to get enough 3rd party validation that i could succeed if i commited myself to the endeavor. (and, to a large extent, that meant having gone from shooting 15 rolls of film a month to shooting well over 1000 frames a week--and studying them (and the works of others) in detail).

Originally posted by zeuszen:

A "true photographer", as you say, would, the way I see it, be good enough of a craftsman -and, perhaps, an artist- to stay motivated.

While making money by it can help stabilize the adventure, it can also contribute to a shift of focus. If one makes money by it, it may do well to ask oneself which of the two will likely conjure the better pictures, the "professional" or the "amateur"?

at this point in my journey, i challenge myself to treat each job as an opportunity to pursue my sense of self-expression. and, thankfully, with rare exception, i am not hired simply to produce photos, but to capture images that represent my vision. you might say i approach each job with the zeal of a true amateur, lacking the cynism and baggage of a burned out pro, but, in the end, am able to deliver and get paid ;-)
05/30/2007 03:22:25 PM · #10
At least as an amateur, it was when I first said to some member of my family "I'll be with you in a second - I just want to try one more shot of this."
05/30/2007 04:28:30 PM · #11
I don't want to take the fun out of it by labeling myself. Plus, then there's expectations "HEY! Where's the photogrpher" as opposed to "Tate takes some sweet pics where the f-- is he anyway?".

Really, the camera is a tool for me to help me create something decent to look at. I'm not good enough to be a photogr____r.

Message edited by author 2007-05-30 16:29:28.
05/30/2007 04:51:32 PM · #12
When they handed me my degree from art school.
05/30/2007 04:51:46 PM · #13
Originally posted by kawana:

Just curious at what point did you go from just some guy with a camera, to a true "photographer". Like what point did you realize you could make money at this, rather that doing it for a hobby? Im not nearly at that point yet, but i hope to be one day.


I don't make money at it.
05/30/2007 05:06:33 PM · #14
How about when you go to RitzCamera to pick up some prints of your kids and they start grilling you because they think you're stealing a professional photographer's copyrighted photos? That's probably a good sign. ;-)
05/30/2007 05:27:35 PM · #15
Originally posted by scalvert:

How about when you go to RitzCamera to pick up some prints of your kids and they start grilling you because they think you're stealing a professional photographer's copyrighted photos? That's probably a good sign. ;-)


ohhh yaa..it happened to me when I took ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/636/thumb/472650.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/636/thumb/472650.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' this to walgreen. They ask me to bring original image (JPG or RAW) to prove that I took the shot. :(
05/30/2007 05:34:57 PM · #16
I relearn it every time I have to get up off the ground dirty from a contorted position.
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