Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The "Real" Thing

This week we were asked, among other things, to define our individual concepts of “real photographer.” It’s taken several days for me to articulate a response, and I believe my concept extends beyond just photography.

A “real (insert any art, craft, profession here)” is someone who loves what she does and takes the time and effort to learn the art and the craft of the endeavor. There is a deep sense of intrinsic satisfaction in the practice of the chosen activity. So, yes, I am a real photographer, certainly a novice or amateur, but there is a very real sense of accomplishment and delight when I make photographs and view the final images. I am also taking the time to first learn the craft of photography – fundamentals of camera operation, elements of composition, role of light and depth of field, etc.; the art will come later when I feel competent using my camera.

image of a wren sitting on top of a cedar tree, Brockway Mountain, The Keweenaw, Michigan
Wren on Cedar Sprig
copyright 2013, Stephanie Maatta Smith
Here’s what I’ve learned thus far. I love to make photographs, and I enjoy the challenge of using my camera to the best advantage. Photography for me is a truly personal activity, and my aim is not to become a professional photographer (and there is a difference between real and professional); at least not yet. I appreciate and enjoy hearing that someone likes my photographs, but I don’t find it necessary to apologize for any of my images.

"Wren on Cedar Sprig" is my favorite image taken in the past couple of weeks. It gives me great satisfaction to know that I was able to capture the little bird in a beautiful setting with the technical knowledge I've gain thus far. So, yes, images like this one make me a "real" photographer.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you, "real" is not the same as "professional." I'm glad you were able to create a definition that includes yourself. I feel the confidence and satisfaction you have with photography come through in your words. Thank you for sharing with us!