Those who are very close to me can attest that my Canon DSLR has been my favorite piece of equipment for the past three to four years now; apart from my MacBook and my iPhone 4s. Photography has always peaked my interest and even with a regular point and shoot, back then, I would try to compose the best photo I can.
Now, there’s a plethora of professional cameras available to regular consumers. Everybody who could afford it, all of a sudden owned a DSLR of some kind. Photography equipment has also been more accessible due to lower costs and availability. Point and shoots are keeping up with the technologies to match the quality of pictures the DSLRs produce. Now, most pictures posted in social media outlets are never just ordinary pictures. But the question is, are you a photographer just because you own a DSLR? Is it photography just because you used a DSLR to take it?
I cannot, and refuse to, call myself a photographer; for now that is. I do own a DSLR but I do not have any formal training. I am but a hobbyist lucky enough to be able to afford such an equipment. I have done many family portraits, family events, family excursions, road trips, and some special events that I have been personally requested to do. I talk a lot to fellow hobbyists and professionals to ask and learn some tips and tricks of the trade. This is not my business or what I do for a living. I am an I.T. professional; that is what I do for a living. I do have many friends and acquaintances who also share the same hobby. They have taken some amazing photographs but never have claimed themselves to be photographers.
I believe in self expression and being able to express your creativity using different outlets, including photography. Read up on it, learn photo composition, ask for some tips and tricks then maybe you can decide in the future if you want to do this for a living.
To other amateurs and hobbyists: Frankly it’s a bit irritating that just because you own a DSLR you feel entitled to be called a photographer; asking for media passes and media access. Respect the professional photographers who does this for a living. Seriously, you know who you are.
Check out the work of some of my friends, both professional photographers and hobbyists, whose work I admire: