With so many varieties of digital cameras, in all sizes and prices, it seems that everyone has become a “shutterbug”. Just because someone has a camera ‘does not him or her a photographer make.’ There is nothing wrong with being a “snapshooter”. This is how we fill our scrapbooks, albums and social web pages. It’s fun and it’s a way of sharing ourselves with friends and family, and most people are perfectly happy to be snapshooters. So, how can you tell which you are? –snapshooter or photographer, and I don’t mean necessarily professional. There are a lot of great amateur photographers, and unfortunately for the business, some lousy professional photographers.
Education How much have you learned or are willing to learn? A photographer will always be learning how to do things better. Do you critique your photos and try new and different techniques? If so, you’re probably a photographer.
Vision Do you spend time thinking about how to take a particular photo from a different perspective? Do you have some kind of artistic vision? Can you set up a photo to tell a story? What about composition? Do you experiment with several shots of the same scene? Photographers dwell on these things . . .
Making light Snapshooters usually don’t have a good idea or care about good light. The camera is set on automatic and that on-camera flash brightens up the scene and everybody is happy. A photographer doesn’t just “take a photo”, he or she “makes the photo”. this means creating, manipulating, capturing light and the right moment, no matter how long it takes.
Passion For photographers, taking/making photos is a calling, a passion, pure joy. They take their camera everywhere, they develop “lens lust”, they love talking about their photo shoots, and more than anything, a photo shoot is a fun-filled adventure.
. . . and once you transition from “snapshooter” to “photographer”, you don’t go back, because it’s gotten in your blood!