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Thread started 17 Apr 2008 (Thursday) 06:51
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Am I a "photographer"?

 
Claire
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Apr 17, 2008 06:51 |  #1

I was browsing the photography forum of the biggest Swedish photo communities. The age old question (in that forum at least) is "Can I call myself a photographer on my business card?"

Then a big discussion starts and I'm curious to see the POTN:ers opinion.

Am I a "Photographer"? Are you?


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clickcanon40
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Apr 17, 2008 07:27 |  #2

well... I use a DSLR camera, I take pictures avidly, and I get paid at times. I think if you get paid at some point to take pictures and have an slr or dslr you could be considered a photographer. Maybe not a pro or semi-pro or whatever, but photographer is not an incorrect statement.

Dictionary.com defines it as- "a person who takes photographs, esp. one who practices photography professionally."


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Karl ­ C
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Apr 17, 2008 07:28 |  #3

At this time, I don't have business cards so, for me, it's a moot point. However, when I did have cards, I wasn't too comfortable with the title since I do not draw an income from photography. Personally speaking, it's hard to use the title "photographer" if I shoot for pleasure. If someone needs to contact me, I just write down my email address.

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elysium
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Apr 17, 2008 07:30 |  #4

On my business card, I have put it down as "Clarity Rebirth (my portfolio's name) Photography"

The reason why I chose to word it like this is that it does not put me down officially as a photographer by title or qualification but is an overview of what my portfolio covers.

If people wish to hire me as a photography by viewing my photographic portfolio, then I am happy to do so. Otherwise, im just someone who is interested as a hobby.


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John_B
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Apr 17, 2008 07:37 |  #5

Claire wrote in post #5346980 (external link)
Am I a "Photographer"? Are you?

Claire,
Yes I am ;) are you? ??? :lol:


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gjl711
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Apr 17, 2008 08:26 |  #6

I’m not sure I understand the question. “Am I a photographer?” Well, anyone who takes a picture is a photographer, no? But I think what you might really be asking is “Am I a professional photographer?” but that is a much different question. But even there, as there are no standards, anyone can print up business cards and start earning a living taking pictures. But then the question really becomes “Am I a good professional photographer?”


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AngryCorgi
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Apr 17, 2008 08:35 |  #7

gjl711 wrote in post #5347463 (external link)
But then the question really becomes “Am I a good professional photographer?”

If you have made enough money using your camera to swim in (a la Scrooge McDuck), then I suppose you are a good professional photographer. ;)

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Claire
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Apr 17, 2008 09:04 |  #8

gjl711 wrote in post #5347463 (external link)
I’m not sure I understand the question. “Am I a photographer?” Well, anyone who takes a picture is a photographer, no? But I think what you might really be asking is “Am I a professional photographer?” but that is a much different question. But even there, as there are no standards, anyone can print up business cards and start earning a living taking pictures. But then the question really becomes “Am I a good professional photographer?”

I did ask the question like that just to see everyone's take. Many in the Swedish forum wants to print up business cards etc and everyone is asking if they can use the title "photographer". And that's when the discussion starts...

I just want to see what you guys think and see if you guys reason like the Swedes. :)


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squashed
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Apr 17, 2008 09:10 |  #9

I am a photographer because I take pictures. I am not a pro and I would never put "photographer" on a business card because its not my business... Its my therapy.


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JimAskew
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Apr 17, 2008 10:31 as a reply to  @ squashed's post |  #10

I am a pro bono photographer and proud of it :) I could charge for my work, and, in fact, have been offered payment after the fact. But I always say no...photography is what I do to keep my life in balance.


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gjl711
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Apr 17, 2008 10:32 |  #11

In the states there are very few professions that require some sort of certification or license before you are allowed to practice your craft. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, truck drivers need to prove some level of competence before they can go out and practice their craft. Others like engineers usually need to prove some level of education before they will get hired.

But photographers fall into the “anyone can be one” category. All that is needed is the will to make a go of it. For example, my son financed a large chunk of his schooling taking head shots and putting together portfolios for the theater crowd with his old Rebel and kit lens. He had made up business cards, passed them around campus and within a month paid off the investment in camera. All the rest went to tuition. He was a working professional, had business cards and needed nothing more than a trip down to Kinko’s to get them printed up and camera gear to start his business.


Not sure why, but call me JJ.
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Tandem
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Apr 17, 2008 12:51 |  #12

I call myself a photographer and I have it printed on my business cards. I let others decide if they want to tack on the professional part, I don't use the word to describe myself.

I receive a good portion of my income from my day job but that will change once I retire (in 230 days).


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shutterfiend
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Apr 17, 2008 15:45 |  #13

If you're printing business card to hand out, so people can hire you and pay you take picture of themselves and loved ones, there's little else you could call yourself.

Possible alternatives:
1. Paid photo-taker, not sure whether to call himself a photographer yet.
2. Party pooper with enormous camera contraption, who's constantly asking people to stop having fun and LOOK like they're having fun.
3. A person who rearranges all the furniture in your living room, makes you stand next to Uncle Al ... and smile !?!


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Apr 17, 2008 16:42 |  #14

My business card says "Geek"


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RandyMN
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Apr 17, 2008 16:47 |  #15

BillsBayou wrote in post #5350436 (external link)
My business card says "Geek"

But are you a good geek?




  
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