If your passion is photography, you’re an artist. No need to get approval from others.
What is street photography?
My new definition for street street photography is this:
Art-photographs of strangers.
Street photography is art. Don’t downplay your visual artistry.
Your photography is noble, worthy, and legitimate. You don’t need the approval of anyone else to consider yourself an artist.
Why is the art world so pretentious?
It is human nature to want to differentiate ourselves from others. It is natural for us humans to create castes, for us to create hierarchies, for us to seek to be perceived as more powerful, influential, or famous than others.
Consider– anyone with an iPhone or smartphone camera is a photographer. But the art world doesn’t want everyone running around calling themselves an artist. Why? Then the art world cannot charge a bunch of money for “fine art photographs”!
Art is democratic
I am the ultimate advocate for us photographer-artists.
And ultimately, I don’t think there is such thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ photograph. There are only authentic and inauthentic photographs. If you make photos you like, the photos are good.
Now– I don’t like all the photos of others; yet I wouldn’t refrain from calling them artists. If anyone with a camera is intentionally trying to make beautiful photographs, they are artists! Artists with cameras as their main tool for visual self-expression.
Make photos that captivate others
To ‘captivate’ your viewer means to hold the attention of your viewer (think of the word ‘captive’, or ‘captivo‘ in Latin — to capture).
What makes a captivating photograph?
A photograph with piercing social commentary (visual sociology), a photograph that is difficult to decipher (abstract photography), or the surreal/uncommon:
You’re not just a photographer, you’re an artist. A visual artist. You like to make visual artwork, and you have the most fun making images with your camera!
Never become discouraged in your photography. The secret is this:
Just never stop shooting!
As you keep shooting, you will continue to evolve as a photographer and visual artist. Through much practice, you will be able to master your own personal aesthetics.
Also remember as a photographer, you’re constantly in a state of flux. There is no ‘final destination’ for you to reach as a photographer. Just keep shooting, never stop your hustle, and seek to impress yourself with your photography; shoot for yourself.
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