Good day, I hope everyone is having a safe Memorial Day Weekend. Before we get into today’s topic I would like to give a Big THANK YOU to all our Military Men and Women who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives for our Freedoms and our Nation. That is truly what this weekend is about. It is about observance and remembrance of those who have died for us. Not the parties, festivals, picnics, sales, parks opening, and the extra day off work. I wish to offer my condolences to all their friends and families that have been affected by the loss.
On to today’s topic, have you ever wondered what makes a Photographer a Photographer? What makes them different from anyone else taking pictures. I believe there are several things that make someone stand out from your normal day person taking photos. Photographers have a passion for photography, they want to tell a story with their pictures, they want to evoke an emotion from their views, and for some, they want to sell their photography as art for others to enjoy.
Every profession out there you can tell the people that want to be doing what they are doing and the others that are only looking for a paycheck. For example, doctors, when being a patient I know the doctors that were there to help people and better their lives from the doctors who only wanted the glory and money. I am not saying that a doctor that is only in it for the money cannot be a good doctor just like a photographer that is only in it for the money can be a good photographer also. What sets them apart is their attitude and love for the profession. When I go out to take photographs of nature I don’t think man this is going to fetch me some money when I sell it. I take the photographs because I love what I see. I like being a photographer even though I would not quite say I am a professional.
Another area that will separate a photographer from someone who is just out to take pictures is that the photographer wants to capture an image to tell a story. They want to evoke an emotion even if it is to make someone go where they have been. They try to make the person viewing it feel the same way they did when they saw the photo in real life. When they are out hiking, they are typically looking for unusual things that the everyday person who is out on the same trail doesn’t see. Your everyday person out at parks is only taking the pictures with them in mind. They want to remember the memory or show someone else what they did that week. Whereas the photographer wants to make that person feel like they are there and to make them see the beauty. I sometimes have a hard time selling my work because of my emotional attachment to the photo itself. I see some of my photographs and the memories that they produce makes me not want to give them to anyone else. But by doing so I may be keeping the joy away from someone else.
Selling their photographs is also another thing that separates an actual photographer from the typical person just taking photos. The photographer tries to frame the image in an appealing view. They want to capture what most people overlook to help bring out an emotion that the viewer can relate too. To bring the longing for them to want to be there. Selling photographs does not mean you do not have a passion for photography and it is okay to try to make some money from your art. Of course, you would want to get something back from your time spent taking the photos. However, with that said like I said above there are some people who their only thought is about making money which to me means that they do not have a passion or love for what they do. But again, that is my opinion and may not be yours which is perfectly fine too. I have dabbled in sales of my pictures at fairs and online I keep my prices way below what others charge. I still make a little bit of profit as I need to pay for my spaces as the fairs. The reason I keep my prices low is that I want everyone to be able to enjoy them. I do not want someone to miss out of my work just because of the price. I also offer most of my prints in several sizes which not only allows customers to have a cheaper copy but may fit better in their home at a smaller size. One of the many things I like about the shows is getting to talk to people and tell them the story about when I took a picture. I feel this helps them have an emotional tie to it as well. I also love talking to people about photography, giving them tips on what I do but also getting tips from them to help make my craft better. Not all people who by photography are in it for the emotion, they just purely like the art and want to display it in their house. For example, my 16×20 Photos that I matted in a 20×24 mat, I am looking at pricing around $35.00. When researching I saw people suggesting selling them for $150.00 – $175.00 For one thing where I live it would be hard to sell for that price, and another the people who would want the picture may not be able to afford it.
So, to me what sets a real Photographer apart from a Photographer is their passion for the art. Without passion, you are missing the true meaning of photography. I would like to hear from everyone on what their passion is for Photograph and what it means to them.