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Poll - As a photographer, do you consider yourself an artist?

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Chrissie_Lay, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. Chrissie_Lay

    Chrissie_Lay AP Editor's PA

    This week's poll question - As a photographer, do you consider yourself an artist? Cast your vote here

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  2. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    An artist? I'm not entirely sure that I've earned the right to call myself a photographer yet!
     
  3. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I remember going on a college trip to London a couple of years back, and my colleague, who like me was part way through his HNC, kept telling everyone we met that he was 'a photographer'. I couldn't help snorting every single time he said it. I think he was quite cross with me by the end of the trip but I couldn't agree with him. He and I were students, trying to be better at photography, but I couldn't say, with any semblance of a straight face that I was a photographer. Since then I've actually allowed myself to say it occasionally. Usually because otherwise I have to say 'I'm an ageing full time student' and I don't much like that.

    As for being an artist...well I have delusions in that direction. It's what I"d like to be one day but I don't think I'm there yet. Maybe, once I'm done at art school?
     
  4. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Do you feel you need some form of formal qualification to be a photographer/artist? If so, why?
     
  5. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    No. I just think that I'm still in a process, not necessarily an educational one, of working out who I am and what I want to say. I don't know that I'll ever feel comfortable with a label like 'artist' but it doesn't devalue what I try to do.
     
  6. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Of course. Why should I be any less of an artist than the person who uses pig bristles tied to a stick, or a hammer and chisel?

    As whether I'm a good artist: well, that's another question.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
    Zou likes this.
  7. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Ditto!
     
  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Steve,

    Exactly. What does "qualification" mean, anyway? I have a law degree. Does this make me a qualified lawyer? Hardly. I am a DES "qualified" teacher, mostly by accident: my entire teacher training was on the job (after the law degree) plus one totally wasted "in house traning day". For a third of a century I've earned a living (not always a good one, but at its peak, magnificent) as a photographer, journalist and writer.

    Fortunately there are no "qualifications" for writing, because all you need is the ability to write and sell what you write, but then, there are alleged "qualifications" for photography and journalism and they're equally worthless.

    Unfortunately, with the decline of print media and everyone expecting everything for free on the Internet, "qualifications" (and even experience) are worth ever less, at exactly the same timeasmore and more people are "qualified".

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  9. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I think this was my point though. Just because we were doing an HNC my colleague felt he was justified in calling himself a photographer. I didn't. Certainly the attainment of the HNC didn't make me feel any more of a photographer. Now that I've been doing it for a bit longer I'm more comfortable with describing myself thus. As for artist...just because I'm at art school doesn't make me an artist. Maybe, after some more time learning about the creative process and working my way into the things that interest and intrigue me, and finding out how best to tell the story I want...some time after I finish at art school....I might be more comfortable with that as a label. I'm not there yet but that's just me.
     
  10. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Sometimes I try to be. Other times I try to be a recorder of images.

    Sometimes, if I'm lucky, some people seem to like some of the pictures I make.
     
  11. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    A recognised qualification issue by a recognised institutuon in the field we are referring to. As, I suspect, you knew all along.
    Best not tell those places (including UEA, iirc) who do creative writing courses.
     
  12. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    I think that even those at the top of the art/photography tree are "still in the process" and those that think there is no more learning to be done, and they have arrived at the top, are closing in on a fall. I would include all professions and indeed, life itself in this sweeping statement. You never stop learning, so go, call yourself an artist, and leave it to others to make up their minds how good you are.
     
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    You have to be right. In fact I'd go a little further. I'd suggest that "those that think there is no more learning to be done, and they have arrived at the top, are closing in on a fall" don't even know what the top looks like: they are so far from it that they can't recognize it. They may fall, but they haven't far to fall.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  14. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I record for my own and other peoples pleasure and sometimes instruction. If the result is seen as artful by some people then I suppose in their eyes that sometimes I might be an artist. I think that anyone, whether takers of photographs, painters of pictures, sculptors of solids, calls themselves an artist then they are very arrogant, and not very nice people. It is up to viewers of our efforts to decide if we are artists.
     
  15. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Nah. That's not a qualification. In any creative field, it's a meaningless piece of paper. As, I suspect, you knew all along.

    80-90% of success is luck; 10-20% is talent and hard work. The trouble is that the "10-20% talent and hard work" is a lot more than most people have. Talent is a lot more common than hard work by talented people, but even given the talent, the hard work, dedication and self-promotion is something most people can't even begin to recognize. They think it's like being a good employee. It isn't.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    I'd take the opposite view. Anyone who is unwilling to own up to wanting to be an artist while pursuing an artistic endeavour is never going to be an artist of any kind. Denying such ambition is the arrogance of ignorance and stupidity. Their life is a lie; their art will be a lie too.

    Let others decide whether you're a good artist. Just don't try to pretend that you don't want to be one. Or, if you don't want to be one, stay out of the debate.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  17. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I consider myself a photographer and if you look at the title of this thread considering oneself a photographer is the qualification to take part in the debate. I am not an arty farty type and am very suspicious of the whole arty farty world with its fleeting fashions of what is worthwile. I am not pursuing an artistic endeavor. I record.
     
    Watson Lavery likes this.
  18. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Ah, Roger is doing his 'repeat part of the previous post in an ironic/sarcastic way'.

    Not to mention, using a different definition of something from the rest of the world and writing a load of irrelevant rhubarb for the rest of his post.

    Nice to know somethings in life are consistent.
     
  19. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Steve,

    OK, so argue. Logically, not ad hominem.

    In what way is a "qualification" in (say) journalism or photography not an irrelevant piece of paper? At best, it gets you a job as an employee. At worst it is an irrelevant piece of paper. The fact that most are "worst" is well illustrated by the fact that very few people get work in the fields in which they are "qualified". Especially in photography, journalism or writing.

    "Irrelevant rhubarb"? Well, I use my real name; for around 40 years I have earned a living as a teacher, and audio-visual producer, and journalist, and photographer, and writer. And I have a law degree. Have you any experience on which you base your petulant attack? Or is it "irrelevant rhubarb"? Sometimes the best way to point out the poverty of someone's arguments is to throw their own ill-thought-out words back at them: or, if you prefer, 'repeat part of the previous post in an ironic/sarcastic way'.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  20. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    One further question: recognized by whom? Not, I suspect, by anyone who matters.

    All right: two further questions. What is UEA? The University of East Anglia? The one that also awards a BA in Idiocy?

    Cheers,

    R.
     
    Watson Lavery likes this.

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