Do you have a camera? Do you have a business that uses that camera? Does anyone else know?
If the answer to all three questions is ” Yes ” then you are a professional photographer who has taken the trouble to tell people about it. Don’t laugh – there are those who are in the trade who never whisper a word. They are employed by jealous wives, suspicious employers, and curious governments. We’ll leave them out of the equation for their comfort and our safety.
So…whatta you call yourself? I don’t mean what do you call your business. That’s immaterial – unless you refer to yourself as Magnum or Associated Press and are operating out of your Mum’s spare bedroom. Then you can expect a visit from the shingles. Better call Saul.
No, what I mean is, what do you refer to yourself as? The immediate answer of ” Photographer ” comes to mind, of course. But other things seem to have occurred to aspiring professionals. Herewith a list I have compiled. No judgement on my part, as I have been guilty of worse things myself:
a. Photo-specialist. Military.
b. Photoist. Civilian.
c. Imagineer. Civilian without the necessity of acting in a civil manner.
d. Pixel-wrangler. Is there air on your planet? Thought not…
e. Active Shooter…You know, you want to choose your location to come out with this one, and your audience…
f. Image Pixie. Don’t. Touch. Me.
g. Optical Artist. Art for the sake of art. Optical for the sake of money.
h. Life recorder. Quick. The Fast Forward button. Press it.
i. Social archivist. WPA era with an old Dodge and an REALLY intense expression. I should have hesitated to criticize Roosevelt to this guy.
j. Silverist….this was an old one out of an old book. It was actually charming, as were his pictures.
h. Optical legend…to be fair, this was a tag that was attached to a third party by the writer. But I don’t think it was done with satirical intent – I think the hack/flak who wrote it really believed it.
i. People’s Artist. Again this was very old – wet plate era old.
j. Light artist. As opposed to a heavy artist, I suppose. Okay, I’m just being silly, but it is after 3:00 and today is Mint Julep day. Cut me some slack, people.
k. Darkroom Artist. Okay. Today you can become a Lightroom ™ Artist. All it takes is a couple of years practice.
l. Cameraman. Now these days you could be a Camerawoman. Or a Camerawomyn if you have a chip on your shoulder. Or just a Cameraperson.
m. Pixelperson. Yeah, I know. It does that to me, too…