Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What do I call myself? Everyone is a photographer

With Domke Bag in refugee camp in Thailand
It strikes me with the 30th anniversary of the MacIntosh computer they post a video shot with an iPhone. It looks great on the web. Good quality, color, very professional!

It wasn't a contest on Facebook, but an advertising agency who planned it and hired photographer. . .no! A cameraman. No, a videographer. Uhh, or was it a multi-media imager?

What do we call photographers in the digital social online 21st century? Visual artists? Or, story teller? One person now can do a variety of things from recording audio, motion and still images that are combined into short picture stories. Visual media consultant?

Freelancer now sounds like someone who posts images for free on Flickr. Not part of a staff, hired for an assignment translates in saying one is a "consultant."  Or, contract photographer?

I remember going to the National Press Photographers digital imaging workshop in 1991, where Adobe showed off Photoshop, everyone shot film and scanned in the pictures. We argued about what to call these digital images. They weren't photos!

As everything blends together it seems like the professional photographer is more like a graphic artist. They both rely on Adobe Photoshop, but the designer uses programs like Illustrator and In-Design the photog often gets everything done using Lightroom, Photoshop and Premier. So the photographer has to be a visual artist in still and motion?  Don't leave out audio!

Bob Sacha made the evolution to motion from being a National Geographic contract photographer. He was a photo editor for Brian Storm and MediaStorm helping non-profits turn still photos into video programs. He recommended I buy a professional ZOOM audio recorder. I did.

But have not put it to and use, it's easier sync the audio from the camera. I've worked on perfecting editing motion with Premier. However, as someone who loved doing a picture page in a newspaper I didn't want to become a television cameraman because they never had any say in the final version. Not to mention how the images fly by. With the picture page you have time to see the various pictures and tie everything together to get a feel for the story. Words help and it's too bad that most picture pages Didn't have room for a long story and if it was a good story the photos were sprinkled around and had to stand on their own.

What do I call myself?

Jim Wood, SF Examiner, Jimmy Breslin, Newsday and JGDomke

The idea came to me that what use to be called a commercial photographer could be seen as a photographic marketing consultant, or visual marketing consultant.

I feel classified as an artist implies paint, museums, illustration. Not capturing reality, photography stands out as a way to capture the moment and record what happened, to share others who were not there. Visual artist? No

Visual communications specialist sounds like someone who hooks up television with game consoles and cable. Who am I?

D.J. Clark a Brit based in China working in TV is a photojournalist coming from stills to motion and sees the Internet as bringing everything together. Frozen image when clicked on becomes a video and below is text adding more information, outlining the story or simply making for a quick read. Then there are links to follow-up stories to get more information, videos, etc. What is this? Multi-media.

Multi-media story teller? If you tell someone that is who you are do, will they look at you funny?

If you say simply that you're a photographer, do they think, I have a smart phone and share on Facebook?

Imaging consultant? Gets away from when you took photos with film. But, "imaging" now is a fashion term. What use to be called a hairdresser is now an imaging consultant.

Multi-media use to mean that you provided projectors and directed presentations for meetings and events. The half-time presentation at the Super Bowl was a multi-media event.

If I say I'm a journalist, that means I'm a writer. But, if I say photojournalist (rather than photo-reporter), it is used both for still and video. Telling the story, capturing the event,  Maybe that's the best.