What makes a photographer?

By no means am I a world-renown photographer. But the question comes up a lot when I’m speaking to people about what makes a photographer a photographer. Is it the super expensive equipment? Is it a backstage pass that says photographer on it? Is it the fact that you sell prints of your work, or have been shown in a gallery?

Personally, I don’t think it’s any of these things. In my eyes it’s simply how a person looks at the world and decides to capture it.

Nowadays everyone has a camera on them at all times. Their cellphone. Tons of people are snapping photos and uploading them to Facebook and Instagram. So is everyone a photographer now? No. Definitely some of these people are, and they get paid well to be. But what sets the some apart from the most? I believe it is how they approach it.

Take for instance these two photographs I took of the Eifel Tower in Paris. The first one I like, but it’s the type of shot everyone takes of the tower. The second photo I love. It’s one of my favorite shots I’ve taken, simply because it’s a view not many people have seen. It of the exact same subject, just a different perspective.

So next time you go out shooting, wherever it may be, stop and think. “How can I capture this in a way that’s different from everyone else?”

Now in my eyes, you’re a photographer.

Eiffel-Tower Under-Eiffel-Tower-at-Night