Week 3: Rethinking Photographers

June 20, 2019.

How are professions of photography viewed by non-photographers? While attending art college, the printmaking professor said of my interest in photography:  “People who can’t draw take photographs”.  As I admired this New York city-based artist, I was embarrassed and disappointed and, as my passion lay in photography, felt belittled. The thought that photography is not a “real” art is common. It is not included in the category of “fine arts”, and is considered a technical craft. It’s common for non-photographers to believe that the only thing one needs to take photos is expensive equipment- often expressed as “what kind of lens do you use”?

Photographers, particularly those covering conflicts, seem to be viewed as adventurous and daring correspondents.  Margaret Bourke-White, as described by Beverly W. Brannon (2015) of the Library of Congress was “flamboyantly spectacular”.  The Guardian (2019) says of Don McCullin’s work: “the sound of gunfire found him”.  But photography is more than a recording of facts.

Access to photography has increased with the advent of the cell phone camera.  People who take pictures with phones are, by definition, photographers.  The ubiquity, however, has not undermined the power of the photograph or the photographer.  Pixels, as found in phones and cameras, are pixels whether found in a Nikon or an iPhone.

I purchased my iPhone X because the lens in my iPhone 8 camera was cracked. I love my iPhone and it’s portability can’t be beat. The quality of the photos is great as well.  I appreciate and experiment with changes in technology and feel that change is inevitable and it’s all good.