Having spent a satisfactory amount of time with photographers and photo subjects, it feels quite prickly to see every individual with an expensive camera and kick-ass lenses effortlessly hanging the Photographer’s Tag on their chests. In light of this, I engaged 3 prominent photographers around the world whose brands you’re highly likely to know of if photography is your forte. USA’s David Matthews, Nigeria’s Aham Ibeleme and Ghana’s Nana Kofi Acquah share their genuine views on Who Earns The Photographer’s Tag.
DAVID MATTHEWS (KALEIDDOSCOPE) – USA
We are all aware that photography has undergone massive changes in the past twenty years. With the advances in technology, photographers are able to capture breathtaking images without breaking a sweat. That leaves us with the question, who’s really the photographer? Is it the individual behind the camera or camera itself? If the camera is doing all the work, does that reduce the photographer to a simple camera operator? In addition to the advances in hardware, photo editing software such as Photoshop and Lightroom have changed the game making it even easier to get a great photo.
So where does this leave the photographer? In my opinion, the advances in technology have made it easier to shoot, but it still takes a sharp eye to capture great photos.
As photographers, we’re so wrapped up in the technique we forget photography is an art form. With an art, it’s a matter of an opinion what’s good and what isn’t. Yes the new technology has made it easier, but it still takes a creative mind to capture the images. If the person holding the camera is able to tell a story, they are a photographer in my book.
AHAM IBELEME – NIGERIA
A photographer to me is an artist who has trained himself/herself to see what others don’t see… the beauty in everything. An Artist who has trained himself to consistently interpret that beauty and present it uniquely to the world. That, is a photographer, and not every photographer is a photographer.
NANA KOFI ACQUAH (Africa Show Boy) – GHANA
The issue of who qualifies as a professional photographer is technically anybody who lives off photography. It has very little to do with artistic or creative competence.
One must always remember that art is subjective so one man’s meat is another man’s poison.
These 3 accounts create the hint at full volume that there is more to photography than pressing the shutter button and knowing which minimum shutter speed to shoot motion pictures to freeze and capture the moment. It is underlying the fundamental understanding that this is a craft and like every craft, it can be… must be learned in consistency; although some individuals see it as art, to others, it is a lucrative fast growing venture.