Monday, April 18, 2016

What Differentiates A Photographer From A Snapshooter?

Broken Souls - Newberry Springs, California
What differentiates a photographer from a snapshooter? The answer is simple: photographic vision.

Actually, it's a bit more complicated than that. Vision is a great starting point, and perhaps it could be boiled down to just that. But it takes a little more, in my opinion. In addition to vision, what differentiates a photographer from a snapshooter is the ability to infuse nonverbal communication into the images. It's creating photographs that speak a message or emotion to others. It's telling a story.

You have to take a scene and figure out what's important and what's not. Then remove everything that's unimportant until only the important remains. It's a little like sculpting. Keep chiseling away everything that doesn't belong.

A snapshooter doesn't do that. They see a scene and capture as much of it as they can. They don't think about it. They don't consider what belongs and what doesn't. They don't try and communicate any message or emotion.

Don't be a snapshooter. Take a moment and figure out what you want your images to speak, then figure out how to create that with the scene in front of you. Being a photographer means being thoughtful and deliberate with your exposures.

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