What makes a photographer

Being a professional photographer is not pushing a button on your phone just for the ‘gram.

Being a professional photographer isn’t taking a crappy shot and spending hours on photoshop editing every pixel to make it “look cool.”

A professional photographer is someone who lays on the hard ground in hot weather, sweat dripping down their forehead as they wipe the condensation from their lens and brush grass and bugs from their skin.

Having a major in photography is not a joke or a laughing matter. It’s waking up at 3 a.m. and driving around photographing individuals at all hours of the morning and then going to develop the film on 30 minutes of sleep.

It was at this time when I realized being a photographer is pushing yourself to your creative and artistic limits on a daily basis, desperately hoping to be that one artist who invents a new way of photographing.

Hoping that you’re good enough to break through the Instagrammers and Snapchatters who make your job seem like the easiest profession in the world.

Living payment to payment because clients don’t understand hours of editing follow the three hour shoot you just did for dirt cheap.

Being a photographer/artist is being told that your profession is something anyone can do.

But it’s not.

We study the latest camera models for hours, spend six to eight hours in the dark working on one photo’s exposure to get it just right.

I’m not saying if you take photos for fun you shouldn’t call yourself a photographer, but you shouldn’t criticize those of us who do it as a lifestyle.

Honestly, you shouldn’t criticize any art major for “not being hard” or an “easy way out.” Every week we sit through almost three hour classes with 12 hours of outside work a week.

To you, it may seem like the easiest profession to have, but it’s not.

And just for the record, I am well aware you have an app that can make professional quality photos for free, but please don’t compare my passion to a piece of technology.