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being a photographer VS taking pictures

I don't know about you, but even if I do photography for ten years, I feel like a "faker" if I present myself as a photographer. I consider myself not as a photographer, but just as a person who takes pictures. And I think it's a huge problem. First of all, let me remind you that I am French. And in France, you must have a university degree to justify your job. You can't proclaim yourself as a "insert the job you want here". I think it's great for doctor or lawyer but for an artistic activity, I think it's a problem.

Why I would like to call myself a photographer ? 
Because I think I am. In my own and personal way, but photography is my confort zone. I feel great when I have one of my cameras in my hands. When I arrive somewhere, the first thing I do is looking at the space, the thing and the people around me and I tell myself : "oh that would be nice with my analog camera, oh this is beautiful, I want to take a picture" etc... Of course I didn't have a university degree and I have never learnt photography with a teacher or a professionnel. I learned photography by myself, with Youtube and some friends, and also by trying a lot

Why I can't ? 
I can't because of legitimacy. And that's a real problem today. Do you feel legitimate in your life ? Your job ? I think we all feel this awkward feeling : you do something good, you love what you do but there is this little voice : "hey you can't call yourself a photographer, you are not Doisneau or Irving Penn or Patrick Demarchelier. You are just a poor girl with a camera posting what you do on Instagram..."
You know what I mean ?

Why we all should do what we want no matter what people think about us ? 
That's stupid to compare myself to other and to pretend that BECAUSE I don't sell my pictures to Vogue, I can't pretend to be a photographer. And I love to see this little "Oh you're photographer" in the eyes of your interlocutor. No, it's not pretentious to call yourself the way you want. People are not blind. If you take regularly cool pictures, it's fine for people, you're a photographer. I remember when I was a teenager, I had some friends who pretend to be photographer. And I believed it, and I was so happy for them. Today I can't tell they were not "photographer like Doisneau" but they find a way to define themselves and it was very cool to me.

The final argument 
Maybe a photographer is "only" someone who get paid for taking pictures. With a client and a creative brief. Mmmmh... That's a good point and it's true. But I already get paid for taking pictures. And I don't feel "more" photographer than before. Moreover, if you're waiting to get paid by a customer as a photographer to define yourself as a photographer, you may wait a long time ? When you want a doctor, you call a doctor, not someone who practice the medecine waiting for you to call himself a doctor.

Wow that was an unexpected blog post. But I wanted to share with you my thoughts and I'm very curious about yours. Do you think you're a photographer or someone taking pictures ? What do you think about ?

Cheese !


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