Opinion: Define professional photographer
I was watching a local TV show that I love the other day, it's called "This Town". It interviews people from all walks of life in different towns in NZ. The last one was on Whanganui, and there was a wonderful interview with a woman called Fleur, who I have admired from a distance for some time now. She is an artist. She used to have a portrait/ art studio in Wellington and photographed a lot of woman, her work is exceptional. In this particular TV interview, she happened to be photographing a woman, with her iphone.
Even before the program was complete, there was concern voiced (in a forum) about "what's happening to this industry" (meaning the professional photography industry).
I have always been a strong believer of "It's not what you photograph, it's how you photograph it" and equally just as important "It's not the equipment you use, it's how you use it"!
I will boldly assume here that Fleur is not concerned in the slightest with what people are saying about her, and my intention is not to defend her use of the iphone.
However, I do think it's an interesting topic for discussion. I mean why couldn't a professional photographer turn up with a phone camera and make wonderful images that you will cherish forever? (If you print them out, but that's another story...)
Would you rather have an awesome photographer you love at your wedding knowing they can rock an iPhone, or a not so inspiring photographer shooting using expensive 'professional' gear?
Through out the years I have played with and created pinhole cameras made out of old Pringle containers, DIY macro lenses made out of toilet paper roll, and used other alternative processes to create. It's inspiring! Most recently, I often (almost too often) use a technique called freelensing, where you dismount the lens, compose and create your photo.
Totally unprofessional behaviour. No, I am a professional photographer because:
a) I earn a living out of photography.
b) I have ethics, morals and values with which I conduct business.
The gear I choose to use shouldn't even come into it.
Industries are changing... Embrace it. There are a tun of inspiring photographers of course on instagram, using iphone only, some of whom make an income from it. Are they not considered professionals? Does it even matter?
I'd love your thoughts, and comments, make one below.
In the meantime, some random photos. Can you tell what camera/ lens combo I used?