Why everyone thinks they are a photographer

Have you ever noticed that everyone is a photographer these days? Why is that? There is one reason, but people think there are more reasons… such as:

  • Gear is “cheap” these days

  • Digital has made everything easier

  • There are infinite photo apps now

  • Everyone has a 100MP camera on their smart phone, claiming that their 100MP camera phone knocks the socks off a silly 24.3MP DSLR

  • Software is cheap, or free in some cases

  • Nothing is sacred anymore. There are no longer trade secrets

  • New “pro” photographers are hungry for work and will shoot for free, for the sake of building their portfolio

The complaints go on and on… I hear them all the time. While some of the above points are true, I think there is only one REAL reason why there are so many “so called” photographers out there: People have this dying need to be liked. I want to be liked, and so do you. But people find themselves in boring jobs, or jobs they are not genuinely passionate about. Waiters and waitresses, bankers, doctors and pharmacists, sales people, teachers, financial advisors, even certain musicians… I have friends and family members with all of the above job descriptions who would rather either be photographers, or be doing something a bit more creative. Some of them make a considerably higher wage than a lot of photographers. So what’s up? No one tells them “you really killed it today, clearing those tables” No one gets 1000 likes for teaching a difficult class of primary school children. No pharmacist gets over 300 likes when he or she saves a life. Sure, morally we all know that to save a life is far more important than photography and educating the children of tomorrow is an incredibly important profession. But those doctors, teachers and waiters are like you, me and everyone else. They just want to be seen, known about and heard. Ultimately, they want to be told that they are doing a good job and that they are liked for that reason. People come from their ,in some cases, professional jobs, post a photo on instagram or facebook and get validation from everyone. “EPIC PHOTO DUDE!” or “You have a really good eye for photography!” or “You should do photography professionally” or “OMG, Amazing!!” or an enless series of complimentary hashtags #beautifulphoto #photoofthecentury. On top of all that, all our friends see these compliments. Isn’t that one of the most uplifting ego boosts you can get? Instant likes from your peers in the most public of domains! Being a photographer is the new “ROCKSTAR” in the on-line, visual culture of today. But do they get daily compliments from their other more “important” jobs? Nahhh. Of course not. So they all go home, strap on a camera and put the word “Photographer” on their Twitter bio. The first music event, on an open mic night comes along and now they are officially a photographer. The photo industry mocks and moans… I say “WELCOME! You, are just like me. I absolutely love photography. For what it represents, and what it allows me to do.” But you know what, I too want my voice to be heard and my images to be seen. We are in this together, friends. Enough of the complaining and moaning!

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