This definition of a real photographer: “full time PRO with a real brick and mortar studio who makes 100% of his income taking pictures not selling crap to other photogs“was a response to a tweet about my fellow Photofocus contributor Nicole Young.
First, here’s some context. Nicole wrote a very thorough and useful “how to” for Lightroom Mobile on Photofocus. Read Nicole’s post here. It was recommended by @Lightroom. That garnered the derogatory tweet that Lightroom Mobile was the “stupidest damn s**t i have ever heard of ask a REAL photographer if they will use this to MAKE money/living“.
This got me to thinking. A lot. Several thoughts happened as questions. Do the tools used make a photographer REAL? Is REAL a new way of saying professional? Are multiple income streams a “bad” thing? Do having them automatically demote a REAL photographer to being unREAL? Is a studio in a fixed location the determining factor of REALness? When something new, Lightroom Mobile for instance, comes along does it threaten REALity? And now the one that really burns me: What about female photographers like Nicole or Annie Leibowitz for for that matter? The tweeted definition says “100% of his income…” What about her income?
I’ve gotta say, right here right now, that my income producing (i.e.: paying) clients love it when, during a meeting to discuss the next step in their project, I pull out my iPad in the coffee shop and we review, flag and tweak their photographs on (yep) Lightroom Mobile and with Mosaic as well. So to answer the question “does a REAL photographer use them to make money and a living?” I say: “Yes I do.”
This, however, might beg my status as a REAL photographer. You see, I have written books on photography. I wrote a magazine column for over eleven years on how a photographer (me) uses Photoshop. I contribute to blogs including here on Photofocus, Sigma, Tether Tools as well as my own on www.kevinamesphotography.com. I shoot assignment work. I make all of the photographs that appear in my writing. I even take pictures for fun. I also teach photography at the Creative Circus an advertising and image school in Atlanta. I teach at conferences and do workshops. All of which involve photography. Do I make 100% of my income “taking pictures?” No I don’t. I also get paid to do retouching, pre-production of my shoots, model casting, archiving, printing as well as digital delivery of the work I am commissioned to create. So by the definition of a REAL photographer offered above, I clearly don’t make the cut even though I have been in the same studio with a sixty foot cyc wall, reception area, background rental service, high end scanning station and digital post production facility for both still and video for over thirty years.
REAListically the tweeter quoted above doesn’t make his entire income “taking pictures” either unless he just hands over the card directly from the camera to his client.
So it looks like I am not a REAL photographer.
I am a professional one who keeps it real.
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