This very short essay appeared in the quarterly journal, “Photograph”. This is exactly how I feel about my photography. I could not have said it better. We make photographs and present the final image though our artistic talents!
John Burnett, President
I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER
I am a photographer. I make photographs. I do not take them, shoot them, capture them or snap them.
I do what I do to see the world differently and to show others what I see and feel. And yes, it really did look like that when seen through my eyes, mind and heart.
The tools of my craft are a camera and lens but the tools of my art are my passion and vision, film or digital. It’s not how we make our photographs that matters, but that we make them.
The gear I have is good enough. My camera doesn’t need to be made recently for me to photograph the present moment. The brand of my camera is irrelevant to the pursuit of beauty and authenticity in my work.
Megapixels are no way to measure a photograph. I want deeper photographs, honest photographs that are alive, not merely really big or really sharp.
I hope the legacy I create with my work will be judged not by how many photographs I made in this lifetime, but what those few magic frames do in the hearts and minds of others.
Comparing myself to others, or them to me, is a waste of my creative efforts and makes it harder to see the light, chase the wonder, and do my work. There is too much to see and create to waste these too-few moments. Art is not a competition, but a gift.
I believe photographs can change the world because they have done so for me. I believe photography opens my eyes to a deeper life, one that recognizes moments and lives them deeper for being present in them.
To be an amateur means to be a lover; professional or not, I want to do this for the rest of my life as an amateur.