Words by Tim Wong

Today I saw an article by William Lee at Night Import, another automotive blog,  regarding “Photographers”.  You can take a look at it here: Photographers…? This is a not a bashing of William Lee or Night Import, but I’m simply calling out something I don’t agree with and find that many people are highly misguided on this issue. If you have noticed, I’m not very good at writing or commentating on event coverage (not as good as Matt anyways), but one thing I find I’m pretty good at is ranting because it is talking passionately on a specific issue.

One of the many things I have learned since I’ve been a photographer, I notice a majority of us are pretty much assholes. We all scoff at amateur photos because they are lacking compared to our own “amazing” work, but there’s always someone out there who’s better. This post by William Lee is garbage because it really is trashing other less experienced photographers. I see this nonsense all the time by other photographers as if they started off with great work. This is the same in the car scene when older guys brand the younger generation as “ricers” for hooning when they probably did that same childish showboating when they were that age.

Actually, I can’t just say photographers because some of these guys don’t even deserve to be called photographers.” – William Lee

I don’t understand why people are placing the title of “photographer” on such a high pedestal. If you take pictures with a Nikon 3DS or a cellphone, you are still a photographer in my book. Of course, skills and experience vary greatly, but why shouldn’t they be called a photographer? Who are you to say otherwise? I occasionally use my Canon S95 which is a compact digicam which is essentially a high end point and shoot with manual functions and  some say the images are better than people who shot the same thing with a DSLR. It is just experience and knowledge that set the gap between us. I see people scoff at people with starter DSLR cameras when they have something more high end and complain about them being in their way when taking a shot. Unless you are being paid to be there, you should have the decency to let other people take their pictures. They have every right to be as you. I don’t like dozens of people in my shot so just sitting patiently and wait for my chance. Everyone starts somewhere and I openly offer help to those less experienced as myself because I appreciated when people more experienced than myself do that same for me.

“Don’t think you’re already up there because someone paid you to shoot their car. I’ve seen some people who claim to be photogs getting paid to shoot but their photos are horrendous.” -William Lee

Being a professional and being a amateur should not be a big issue because the difference is just getting paid to do something you love. The very definition of being a professional is getting paid to do it. Not everyone will feel your pictures are up in the ranks and just because you are getting paid that doesn’t make you a great photographer, but it does mean someone out there likes what you are putting out and feels it is worth paying for.

Experience is everything in any field. Just because you know the textbook content doesn’t mean you know the application in reality. I know everyone goes those certain phases in the journey of learning photography because I walked that same path and still walking it. You can never stop learning in photography because there’s always some new and different. You can clearly see the gradual changes and improvements in my journey on this very blog. My style of shooting changes all the time because I see something interesting and I attempt to recreate and put my own spin on it. Styles of shooting are endless. Some people like vintage, vibrant colors, or rich contrast. Photography is all about playing with ideas and that how all this great magic happens.

So don’t let some pompous douchebag tell you, you aren’t a photographer. It is just practice and learning.

5 responses to “Photographers”

  1. Very well said Tim! I know some parts of my article were not agreeable and not everyone was satisfied with what I wrote. I had no intentions of bringing down or make the professionals look bad at all. It was good reading through what you had to say. Thanks!

    1. I’m glad you saw it as justified disagreement and not straight out bashing. I don’t blame you for seeing things in that light as many others share your point of view, but I felt someone needed to share the other side of things. I understand why people feel that way and dislike when beginners get bent out of shape when someone points out places they need work on, but I don’t feel all amateurs should be group together.

  2. My sentiments exactly. I could not have written a better rant post. Hell, I almost wrote one until I ran across this post.

    The thing about William’s post is that it screams bias. It’s not his observation, rather, it is a bashing of people lower than him. As much as he attempted to humble himself by saying he’s not trying to degrade anyone, he pretty much was doing the opposite of that. As you said, it does not matter what you take pictures with. One can still be coined a “photographer” whether or not the work is good. That’s why there is that intangible skill level we place on peoples’ heads: “beginner,” “semi-pro,” “professional.” Hell, even published photographers such as Scott Kelby don’t bash beginners. He welcomes them with open arms. He publishes articles and write books that help people with less experience attain their own glory at some point in time.

    All I am saying is that as a community, regardless of whatever hobby we choose to divulge in, need to learn to sit down and shut the hell up because we were all a beginner at one point. No one starts off being completely awesome and recognized. Even if someone has a Facebook page that screams “LOOK AT ME” while clamoring for “Likes” every other day, it doesn’t mean they’ll be respected right from the get go.

    Just my two cents. Great blog by the way.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: