I’ll admit that the title of this article is one that causes quite a few arguments on any social media platform!
The views that I’m about to express are mine alone. Everyone has their own idea about the answer to the question; “What makes someone a professional photographer?” In fact, just asking; “What makes someone a photographer?” will cause some heated responses.
You may have seen advertisements for clothing on social media that sported a design like this;
This graphic contends that a person isn’t a photographer….. not a ‘real’ one at least, until they are able to shoot in ‘Manual’ mode on their camera.
While it is true that manual mode gives the user the greatest control over what the camera will do, just spinning the camera’s dial to “M” doesn’t make someone a ‘real’ photographer (whatever that is).
The fact is, I’ve seen some great images made by people using their camera in fully automatic mode and I’ve seen some images created in Manual that…. well, didn’t “blow my skirt up” (as they used to say). LOL
So, let’s start with the easy question; “What makes someone a photographer?” That’s easy, if you take (or make) a photograph, you ARE a photographer. In fact, the perceived quality of the image has no bearing on anything. It doesn’t matter if the image was created on a $35,000 Hasselblad medium format digital camera or on your cell phone camera. The simple fact is, if YOU like the image you’ve created, that’s good enough. You can go around and boldly proclaim that you are a photographer! You have my permission – not that you needed it.
Now, on to the more difficult question; “What makes someone a professional photographer?” In my opinion, if you’re paid to make images, then, by definition, you are taking photos professionally. You could be a food, real estate or wedding photographer, as long as you’re being paid for your talent, you’re a pro. Many, many people will disagree with this and argue that a person MUST make all of their income from photography in order to be allowed to use the term ‘professional.’
What do you think?
Now, back to the graphic, if you happen to want to learn how to use your camera in”M” (Manual mode), I’ll be uploading a series of articles in the near future explaining everything you need to know.
Then you can purchase one of those ‘cool’ shirts! 🙂
Just because posts are better with images, here is one that I made recently. Was I using manual mode when I made this image? To be honest, I don’t remember!