This is the first in a series of blog type articles I have been thinking about for a while. I realize that this isn't really "news" but in the past Newschoolers has encouraged this type of writing. I also realize the NS Photog article came out today but this is actually totally unrelated. This is just meant to be a discussion of my personal opinion and I realize that not everyone will find it interesting. Let me know in the comments what you think. Thanks!
What makes someone a Photographer? Do you become a Photographer when you start watermarking your photos? When you buy an interchangeable lens camera? When you make a business facebook page for yourself? Or is Photographer a state of mind? Going into this season I knew I wasn't a Photographer. I had taken a couple photos that I liked but nothing that I thought was really good and I wasn't really planning progressing in photography either. I was planning on skiing a lot and making a lot of videos.
This is one of the only still images I took away from last season. Not so great...
A shot from opening day this season I was stoked about. (Yes Sklar I realize it is underexposed)
I remember talking on the drive up to the mountain one day about the NS cover photo. Someone joked about trying to get a cover shot and I laughed and said I thought that would be awesome but I didn't really consider it a possibility. For years I have worshiped the NS cover shots, I used to download them to use as desktop backgrounds before I even really knew what free skiing was. Now having been lucky enough to take a few of them myself I feel like sharing some things that have been on my mind for a while.
I used to think everybody with a big camera was a Photographer. Then I got a big camera and spent a month thinking I was a big shot Photographer. I thought about making a webpage, maybe watermarking my closeups of flowers. It didn't take me too long to realize how special I wasn't.
One of my shots from when I was trying to be a Photographer
Finally joining Newschoolers was a bit of a wakeup call. I had been impressed with NS photos for years but I had always assumed they were the product of old professionals with lots of gear and famous athletes. After I joined I was drawn to Media and Arts where I quickly found out there were a bunch of kids younger then me pumping out incredibly high quality content. I found out about shooting film. I watched as people had arguments about things I had never heard of. I realized that good photos do not necessarily contain exciting things. I started to learn about the "art" of photography.
Me trying to get a little more art and a little less artsy. I have a long way to go
Now I realize that too many Photographers that I aspired to be like were really not that great. Just because someone has a Facebook photography page doesn't mean that what they are making is worthwhile. Just because someone listens to Wu-Tang and wears a tall-T doesn't mean that they can't take incredible, artistic, photos that tell a true story.
Two of my recent photos that I was stoked about.
Now after over a year of activity on Newschoolers I am stoked about how little I know. I am excited about my ignorance because there is so much to learn. I know now that I am not a Photographer, I am a skier who likes to take pictures and thats how I like it.