What Makes a Real Photographer?

There’s lots of dialogue circulating online about what makes a photographer “real” which some would say there’s no straightforward answer to because the definition holds several variables. My question is at what point do you get to call yourself a professional? It certainly can’t be when you decide that you WANT to be one?

It’s entirely open to debate but Paul Indigo shares some great distinctions between what he believes makes a “real photographer” in comparison to one that’s “not so real”. Needless to say, I agree with everything stated.

Being a real photographer is not about:

  • A job title ie Professional Photographer
  • Having a qualification
  • Selling your photography
  • Taking pictures every day
  • Carrying the latest camera around

A real photographer:

  • Produces work that is interesting and significantly different which gets him or her noticed.
  • Is more interested in communicating than in the process of taking photographs (has something to say)
  • Is creative in everything they do - their approach, the way they create opportunities for pictures as well as the aesthetics of making the image.
  • Pays attention to the smallest detail

I highly recommend reading the rest of the list.