Friday, July 6, 2012

Making A Name For Yourself

I should have bought a better dictionary - the old one I have is written in quill pen on yellowed paper and is bound in leather but I am still finding it inadequate. I see from the flyleaf that this is only a draft copy - it says " Dr. Sml. Johnson - His Booke " Perhaps he will publish a new one.

The stumbling point is it does not define a particular class of photographer. If I look at a photographer who takes or makes pictures for the sheer love of the art, the word " photographic amateur " seems correct. If the photographer makes the images and sells the results for money then " photographic worker or tradesperson " would be good. If the photographer teaches the art, then  they can add " professional " to the description. Much the same applies to playing football or making love.


But what of the photographer who takes the picture and works diligently for the purpose of winning competitions and awards and applause? Try as I might, I cannot fix ( even using sodium thiosulphate ) upon an adequate adjective. Most of the ones I try, like " competitor " sound restrictive, if not a little mean. Surely there must be a better and more honourable name - I mean the only time you see the word competitor these days in the newspaper is when it is associated with drug taking or bribes. ( I wonder if sponsorship by a pharmaceutical manufacturer scores on both counts...)


This is a blog - but I can't write it all. Post back a few ideas for words and I'll report them to the masses. I can't promise an award but I can introduce you to people who seem to have a lot of them.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous terence said...

I was wondering about this a while back myself. I photographer friend of mine was lamenting on Facebook the plethora of 'professional' photographers currently on the market. He himself is a VERY capable photographer and draws a small portion of his income from his work - he classes himself as a professional.

His approach to business is poor however. Clients will often wait for months for their proofs or photos. I've even met people who have never recieved their photos from him. He is, in a word, unprofessional.

At the same time, there are photographers out their shooting as professionals, providing a high quality of service in everything except photographic quality.

Added to this, the market is oversaturated so anyone out there who does a half decent job finds it hard to get exposure (pun intended).

There are attempts to ameleorate this - professional organisations that dictate their 'super-awesome associates' ($495+gst) must have a qualification in photography and insurance. But this ignores the fact that there are self taught and developing (pun intended) photographers who are just as good, and often better, than registered members.

I take this as a catch 22 - you must have a two year qualification in photography. Oh, and because we have photography degrees and certificates the market is now saturated.These organisations are doing their members a di-service instead of focussing on business certfiation to a standard (eg ISO 9000) and peer acceptance photograpic works.

Nonetheless I don't think there is an easy answer to this question. Why not let natural selection sort this situation out. Professional photographers are thsose that exist in the professional world. When they fail, they show themelvs to obviously be unprofessional.

July 11, 2012 at 12:21 AM  

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Making A Name For Yourself

I should have bought a better dictionary - the old one I have is written in quill pen on yellowed paper and is bound in leather but I am still finding it inadequate. I see from the flyleaf that this is only a draft copy - it says " Dr. Sml. Johnson - His Booke " Perhaps he will publish a new one.

The stumbling point is it does not define a particular class of photographer. If I look at a photographer who takes or makes pictures for the sheer love of the art, the word " photographic amateur " seems correct. If the photographer makes the images and sells the results for money then " photographic worker or tradesperson " would be good. If the photographer teaches the art, then  they can add " professional " to the description. Much the same applies to playing football or making love.


But what of the photographer who takes the picture and works diligently for the purpose of winning competitions and awards and applause? Try as I might, I cannot fix ( even using sodium thiosulphate ) upon an adequate adjective. Most of the ones I try, like " competitor " sound restrictive, if not a little mean. Surely there must be a better and more honourable name - I mean the only time you see the word competitor these days in the newspaper is when it is associated with drug taking or bribes. ( I wonder if sponsorship by a pharmaceutical manufacturer scores on both counts...)


This is a blog - but I can't write it all. Post back a few ideas for words and I'll report them to the masses. I can't promise an award but I can introduce you to people who seem to have a lot of them.

Labels: ,