EVERYBODY BELIEVES I SHOULD BE A PHOTOGRAPHER, AND SOMETIMES I BELIEVE IT TOO. SO, WHY I’M NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER YET?
Last week I was walking with my bearded man and a couple of pals along the city streets when a couple of tourists approached us and asked for a photo. Immediately, all of my friends pointed at me and said, “She’s your gal!”
I grabbed the phone. Luckily, it was an iPhone. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are a lot of other phones with amazing cameras, it’s just me. I panic every time I touch a new device I’ve never used before, I feel like I’m handling a nuclear bomb. I consider myself a tech-troglodyte, but we’ll talk more about that later.
Armed with the glossy iPhone, I point it at the couple, I kindly ask them to step slightly leftwards, I frame them and I click. Another one from a different angle, and maybe a couple more clicks with the portrait orientation, just in case… (you know, Instagram photography rules!)
I pass the phone back, she smiles while quickly scrolling through the shots, then they both look at me exclaiming, “ Wow, these are amazing! – Are you a photographer?”
Here we go again, the fateful question. Which is always followed by the same answer, “Oh no, I wish! I’m not a photographer. I just like taking photos”.
I’m so tired of hearing myself say these words that sometimes I think I should go around wearing a t-shirt clearly stating, “NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER”. Because all of it is simply frustrating. It seems like everybody believes I should be a photographer and sometimes I believe it too. So, why I’m not a photographer yet?
I know I have a creative eye and can capture my subject strategically, in a way that fits well with the background, yet still stands out and glows. I also enjoy editing photos. I can be a Lightroom wizard whenever I want, making everything look polished and cohesive, conferring such unique character on the shot.
I’d be confident enough about my creative skills to go out and take photos for other people… so what is holding me back?
Remember what I told you earlier about my relationship with technology?
A few years ago, I bought a fancy DSLR camera – and guess what? I still can’t use it. After countless hours of watching photography tutorials on YouTube, a small fortune spent on photography classes and workshops, it’s hard to admit, but I just can’t seem to figure it out.
Taking photography to a professional level requires consistent practice, and let’s face it, I’m simply not committed enough.
For me it’s all about the creative process of composing, finding the best angle, playing with the light, styling, creating unexpected effects with the use of props, finding the perfect background, and capturing interesting subjects.
All of this can be done with my phone, without feeling the angst of holding a camera, trying to manually balance aperture, shutter speed, ISO and all that jazz. By the time I’m done with all of the adjustments, I’ve lost momentum, I no longer feel inspired and my subject is gone.
I personally approach photography as a spontaneous expression of creativity, and a passion for aesthetics. It’s a service which I’d love to offer others, but without the pressure that comes with being called a “photographer”. This wasn’t possible until a while ago. But today, that our mobiles have phenomenal cameras and there is a new platform like Pelooc, which has created a new category of creatives called “Phototakers”, I have finally found my happy place!
Now I have a space to be and express myself; where I can practice photography, get hired and inspired by other creatives who need my services, and – the cherry on top – make money doing what I love, in the way I prefer and when I have time for it!
No one is forcing me to make the leap into a professional career as a photographer, which by the way, I’ve realized it’s not my ultimate goal, (otherwise I guess I would have already invested more resources in trying to achieve that). However, photography can simply be my creative outlet, to feel joy and help those who need to be photographed, but can’t afford a photographer.
So, this is why I’m not a photographer, but I happily define myself as a Phototaker, and proud creator of this space for myself and all the other not-a-photographer’s out there.
If you’re like me and feel intimidated by cameras and photography gear, but you can’t resist the urge to express yourself and create visual content, grab your phone (it’s all you’ll need), and download the Pelooc App to join the crew!