Elan Vital Media | Are you a Photographer or a Fauxtographer?
The true difference between a person with a camera and a photographer!
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WTF is a Photographer anyway?

By definition, as it’s been pointed out through several opinions on our social media because of a meme that we posted, the Merriam-Webster definition of a photographer is someone that takes photos. We think that’s an extremely broad, limited, and worthless definition, even though, yes, that’s theoretically exactly what a photographer is.

The very adamant individuals that relayed and commented that opinion to us on our facebook post did seem to lose sight of what it actually means to be one though. While we don’t actually feel you have to know manual mode on a DSLR to be a photographer, we do feel, very adamantly by the way, that it takes much more than clicking the shutter button to be considered a true photographer, unlike the courts when the case was proven that because a wildlife photographer published an image that a monkey took, it was copyright infringement on the monkey, which we feel the case should have gone a different way, they weren’t by a dictionary’s definition, incorrect.

Becoming a photographer, to us, is much more in-depth than picking up your cell phone, taking a picture of your breakfast, and posting it to Instagram. While your eggs, bacon, and strawberry crepes may get a few likes, and a shout-out from IHOP, it doesn’t mean you’re a photographer. It means you have access to technology to give you the opportunity to create a picture and share it with the part of the world that follows you. Becoming a photographer means you’ve studied the discipline of photography enough to understand what it takes to create a good image of that bacon, eggs, and strawberry crepes. Angle, lighting, rule of thirds, contrast, brightness, white balance, shutter speed, ISO, depth of field, background, foreground, and so much more. That’s the difference in opinion.

Image by IG @awesomesauce85

We were called an elitist entity because that’s our stance. Well, we’re sticking to it. Being a photographer to us is someone that studies it, uses the tools necessary to take quality images, studies the equipment, and learns how to appropriately use the equipment available to its fullest potential. EVM is a collective of photographers. People that have dedicated a very large portion of their lives to creating digital art through the use of a camera. Yes, technology is changing, updating, cameras getting smaller, capabilities increasing across all mediums, quality of products being gauged at higher levels and expectations, equipment becoming more affordable as time progresses and being more easily accessible to the average human that operates in the digital age, and so many other things playing factors. It doesn’t change the fact that for us, to put stock in the term and title of photographer, you need to do more than just press a shutter button.

As things change in our industry, it’s important to understand the changes, either implement them, get with the times, learn new things, or become a shadow in the past. We’d like to point out that being a photographer has a long history, and has drastically evolved since the invention of the modern camera. Most people don’t know what that means, what the original way to take pictures were, or even when the (disputed) first modern photo was even captured.

While we encourage input from our followers, fans, fellow creative people, we do want ensure everyone understands that we are a publication and do have a procedure set in place to determine what is published on our website or in print. That actually means you need to be more than just a monkey pressing a shutter button. If that comes off as elitist to you, or you don’t agree with it, that’s okay, we understand opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, and most of the time they stink (in one way or another). In other words, feel free to either have an intelligent conversation with us instead of just repeating the same silly dictionary definition of something or have legitimate concrete reasons on the why you feel that way, preferably factual, not based on solely an opinion. Otherwise, of course, there will be conflict in the comments section and more than likely you’ll take something the wrong way, get offended, or be proven wrong on a plethora of different levels.

We want to also take the time to let you know that our staff are people too: they’re artists and creative individuals that study their art to become better for themselves, regardless of what motivates them to be better – whether it is the sole purpose of making art, getting paid, or just as a hobby to escape their mundane day jobs. We don’t claim to be the end-all-be-all experts on everything photography. While collectively, we have over a few hundred years of experiences in the industry, we are all still learning. If you stop learning, you fall by the wayside.

Lastly, if you feel we’re elitist based off the opinion we have on what a photographer is, you’re probably a supporter of something seriously ridiculous, such as, big pharma actually gives a shit about people’s health, or every person in the military is a baby-killer or psychotic. Broad definitions of things shouldn’t be followed explicitly and you should probably actually read more about things and comprehend what’s stated instead of just being that narrow-minded. And for meme’s generated on the internet – take them with a grain of salt. Check out some of the ones below for your amusement! 

To put it simply, we’re the last of a dying breed, don’t consider ourselves elitists by the definition of it, but we do have expectations and still do have opinions. Sometimes they don’t always jive with every single person, and we think it’s okay, as we strive for growth, encourage the study of your craft, and want to maintain standards.

If you think a photographer is JUST a person that clicks a button, and doesn’t have any real value in their creation of images, we encourage you to comment on our post. If you think being a photographer is MORE than a shutter clicker, and someone that appreciates people that dedicate their time to studying the skill of taking quality images, we also encourage you to comment on our post! We’d love to see just how many don’t value artists and JUST think all it takes to be a photographer is clicking the fucking shutter button! And we definitely want to know who ACTUALLY gives a shit about those that do know what they are actually doing behind the camera, and values true artistry given the tools and technology at hand.

Comment on the facebook post this article appears on our page, be a part of the conversation! Let’s truly see it get lit!

Elan Vital is a magazine that is dedicated to bringing you tutorials in modeling, photography, make-up artistry, hair styling, wardrobe designing, and more. In addition to these articles, we will also be focusing on artist’s portfolios, music coverage, political updates as it pertains to the creative community, and much more. If you haven't done it yet, consider subscribing to the website - it's free for now!