Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald

[PHOTO] On the difficulty of being a photographer, a real photographer

In a post at blogTO, "Toronto photographers you can trust", Victoria Quiroz started an interesting discussion in the comments, one not about the subject of her post but on her assumptions.

Toronto is full of photographers. Those trying to make a living with a DSLR in their hands have only themselves to rely on. This past Saturday I spoke with several Toronto photographers doing exactly that, at the release of the collaborative photo book, Don't Trust Anyone Over 30.

The book features the work of nine photographers, all under 30 years old, from Vancouver, New York and Toronto. Sonia D'Argenzio and Dimitri Karakostas are a Toronto duo that often finds themselves outside of the country, and continent, for their work.

"Toronto is a finicky beast to master, and I'm fine with not mastering it for the time being," said Karakostas. "I like just doing the periodic one-offs like this as opposed to trying to do it frequently."

D'Argenzio told me about the difficulties of being a photographer when anyone and everyone is calling themselves one.

"Everyone's a photographer now," said D'Argenzio. "Everyone has Instagram, everyone has their iPhone, everyone has a Tumblr account and a Flickr account. It's standing out amongst a crowd of millions."

(For the record, I have a Tumblr account and a Flickr account, and take pictures with a smartphone along with a camera.)

Some commenters argue that Quiroz and D'Argenzio are being reductionist, that it takes particular skills to be a real photographer. Others--I'm among them--think that the genre has been demassified by inexpensive and efficient new technologies.
Tags: internet, photos, popular culture, social networking
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