Pho·tog·ra·pher n. One who practices, or is skilled in, photography.
Lots of people call themselves a photographer. Some add the word "professional" but what does that word professional really mean?engaged in a profession or engaging in as a profession or means of livelihood; "the professional man or woman possesses distinctive qualifications ...
I have a background in art classes and have studied the history of art, I know the skills and techniques involved in most visual arts. I know a lot about how my camera works too, but the key in being a photographer or an artist is that word skill. Skill can be so many things. Skill in having a creative eye and seeing beauty where others do not.
I always think back to a moment in University when I attended my cousin's grad. The grads were all dressed up and parading around the gym in their fancy clothes. There were a LOT of really beautiful young people there. You could tell who the popular kids were based on the applause and attention they received
from the crowd. However that night it wasn't a popular grad that created a massive impact on my memory. Walking by herself was a very ordinary girl, probably not very popular and no one was escorting her. She walked alone and was not smiling. She had thick glasses, very plain features and not a girl anyone would give attention to based on physical appearance. As she got close to where I was sitting she noticed her family, who were sitting just below where I was seated. I wish to this day I had a camera. She gave the most brilliant and beautiful smile. This girl's face was lit up with pride and joy. Her moment with her family was all that mattered...that moment taught me that beauty is sometimes hidden. Her smile was the most beautiful thing I saw that night. I felt lucky to share that moment and see that smile. That's a once in a lifetime smile. It's moments like that I try to capture when I do photography. Professionals can know lighting, know how to operate the camera, but knowing to see beauty and capture it is a whole other skill that can not be taught in a classroom.
So many artists feel because they attended art school they are in fact "art elite" and this to me is a joke. I saw so many want to be artists graduate art school. I feel this world is full of skilled people without the paper to back themselves up. Some students I teach have more art ability then some very experienced artists. I'll close with a text that I came across randomly on the web...I feel it sums up how we should live our lives. I am taking it to heart.God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.
1 John 4:16b-17 (Read all of 1 John 4)