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!

Photographer self-portrait with the cameras of her life.