It seems like everyone is calling himself a photographer these days. This got me wondering if this really is true.
What is a photographer?
The first question we should ask ourselves is: “What is it that makes you a photographer?”. The answer to this is pretty simple, we can split up the word in two parts. First of we have “photo” which is directly derived from the Greek word “φῶς” (phos), which means “light”. Secondly we have “grapher”, which is derived from the Greek word “γραφή” (graphê), meaning “drawing”. This would mean that anyone who is “drawing with light” is a photographer.
Let’s use an analogy here. Let’s say you buy a guitar and start practicing, does this make you a guitarist? Or better, when do you start to call yourself a “guitarist”? Maybe never, even after years of practicing and becoming pretty good at it.
This is where the controversy comes in. This is why some people would argue that you should only call yourself a photographer if it is something you’re doing to earn money and not just as a hobby like playing the guitar.
Call yourself what you want to be!
It’s all about the mindset. You can call yourself whatever you want to be. It is proven that calling yourself what you want to be has positive effect on your own abilities. If you don’t believe that you are a photographer, how would anyone else believe you are?
If you want to start earning money by taking pictures you’ll probably have to call yourself a photographer because that’s what people will search for if they need pictures taken. This is another reason to call yourself one.
But after all it is all about you, do what you feel best about and don’t let others take you down!