Why I quit calling myself a Photographer

 The three words I hate telling someone is, I'm a photographer.

I am not a photographer, I'm an artist. I create beautiful works of art to hang on walls for a lifetime. Are you wondering why I do not call myself a photographer? For one reason, anyone can say they are a photographer. With the turn of the century and digital making everything so much easier. Especially with today's cameras. All you have to do is push a button and the camera does the rest. Back in film days you have to worry about f-stops and shutter speed with strobes and know what you are doing lighting wise. Even Cell Phones can take a decent picture. 

Whenever I hear what a client is asking for, I write down the first thing that pops into my head. I always try to visualized the final product first. I love when my thoughts come to life in the final product. 

Am I an artist today? Did I do 100% and then 10% more? Did I strive to do better then what I was thinking. If something isn't coming out how I hoped, it is okay. I take a step back and think about what I am trying to accomplish. Sometimes I get discourage at my work because some other artist is a better then me. In the end I will always do my best and then some.

I have visions all the time while I walk down the street or drive in my car. I look at something and say to myself "How can I make that art?" The way I see light is different then most. The way I see light is when I look at a person next to a lamp or a window I always want to tell them to turn their nose a little bit to make a portrait with my eyes. I am always watching where light is coming from and how I can warp it in my mind. I was taught to look at details and not the subject first.

Light is so key with portraits. If you look at 16th century paintings of you can see that the main light is coming from one direction and not multiple. I strive to be like Leonardo, Donatello, and Rafael with my work or then ninja turtles. I want people to say "I want to hang that piece of art in my home forever." That is what I will strive to do and will always try to do. 

In conclusion I am an artist that uses a camera instead of a paint brush. Are you an artist or someone with a fancy camera?