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.