What Makes A Photographer Great?

Street photography: What makes a photographer great?

"The art of photography is an adventurous journey
toward the core of our being."

I have a confession to make. Each time somebody says: "Beautiful photographs. What camera do you use?" I just want to scream. This question seems to reduce the photographer to a mere tool user who assists the omnipotent camera. You probably wouldn't ask a writer: "Wow, a beautiful novel. What typewriter do you use?" It would sound silly, wouldn't it?

We are obsessed with gear. So many people think that the more expensive the camera, the better the photographs. So many people think that it's the camera, or more precisely, its price tag, that makes a photographer great.

But the camera is just a tool. And our mastery of the tool, our technical knowledge of it, is just the beginning. Anyone can learn to use a camera. Anyone can learn about shutter, aperture and ISO. There are schools and courses that teach you that. With some patience and practice, anyone can become an expert camera user. Just like anyone can become an expert in Photoshop and Lightroom. Or in any other tool.

Mastering our tools is only the beginning of the journey. The next step, the next level of mastery, is what makes a photographer good, or even great:

• Learning to observe.
• Putting our heart and soul into the image.
• Being devoted to and passionate about freezing a moment in time.
• Showing the world through our lens with love, curiosity, humbleness and an open mind.
• Thinking about what we do, how and why we do it.
• Patiently building a body of work that reflects the depth of who we are and is a full expression of our vision.

Just like a painter uses her brush to make paintings, we use a camera to make photographs. The art of photography is an adventurous journey toward the core of our being. The camera we use is our loyal companion that enables us to do what we love. It is the intermediary between our soul and the world that surrounds us. A camera should feel good in your hands, be easy for you to use, and be a trusted tool you enjoy creating your art with. Nothing else matters.