I am an amateur. I am an enthusiast. I am a hobbyist. These are a few of the labels that most people identify with whenever they have a smidgen of interest in shooting photos. Repeat these enough time to yourself or to anybody you meet and slowly but surely you become the words you said. An amateur. An enthusiast. A hobbyist.
Why not declare yourself to be a photographer? Why not be proud of the very fact that when you pick up a camera, point it at something, make an attempt at composition, click the button and make an image makes you a photographer. The image might not move millions of hearts looking at it, but at least it is yours. It might not be the greatest composition but at least you make an attempt for it.
But some would argue that your image are not good enough to qualify you to become a photographer. Some would argue that to become a photographer you must be acknowledge as good by your peers or have an adoring following of thousands if not millions of fans. To these people I say, “Screw you!”.
Ansel Adams wasn’t born with the ability to shoot great pictures. He didn’t came out of his mother’s womb and suddenly able to compose unforgettable images. He strives for his pictures, he slaves for his craft. He continuously learn to improve his knowledge and skills to take better pictures. To make it his own.
So, it is not the adoring fans, nor is it the medals of recognitions that makes you a photographer. It is the pursue of your own unique vision that makes you a photographer. It is that journey that turns you into a photographer.
Therefore, I say that you are a photographer as soon as you aspire to be one.
So, it is with this in mind, that I declare myself a photographer in search of my own vision.