“Are you a photographer?”

Uh…. I was asked this question TWICE one day last week and both times I panicked. Both times I was holding my camera, posed to take a picture, and both times I answered, “No…..”.

Why did this question make me sweat? Why did this question make me so nervous? Why couldn’t I answer the way I wanted to? “YES! I am a photographer!”

Then I looked up the definition of a photographer in the dictionary (and when I say ‘looked up’ I mean ‘typed in’):

pho·tog·ra·pher

[fuh-tog-ruh-fer] noun

A person who takes photographs, especially one who practice photographs professionally.

 So… I thought, well I take photographs. Then I did what everyone my age does nowadays, and I looked it up in urbandictionary.com, and this is what I got:
What just about every scene kid and hipster under the age of 25 calls themselves these days. Many own Canon Rebel xtis and rely heavily on cropping and Photoshop filters to give their otherwise mundane photos an “artsy” feel. It is also not uncommon to see them wielding Lomography cameras (usually a Holga, now that they’re sold at Urban Outfitters) on any given day. Typically, these “photographers” cite Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe, or, in the case of those Vice Magazine devotees, Terry Richardson, Cobrasnake, or Richard Kern, as major influences, because they couldn’t name any other photographers to save their lives.

And I realized, okay THAT is why I didn’t want to answer yes… but then I kept scrolling down the page and I read this:

A photographer is a person who takes photographs using a camera. A professional photographer uses photography to make a living, while amateur photographers take photographs for pleasure and to record an event, place or person.Not all photographers are scene or emo kids and not all rely heavily on photoshop or any other photo editing software (such as GIMP, Lightroom, photobucket, etc) to make their photos look unique.Some photographers actually are photographers, not just “What just about every scene kid and hipster under the age of 25 calls themselves these days.”. Some actually shoot photographs for a purpose rather than because it is the “cool” thing to do at the moment. Some great photographers are Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Les Forrester, Lara Jade, Andrew Gransden, Joe Rosenthal, Jill Greenberg, and Annie Leibovitz.

Now even though I am a self-proclaimed lightroom editing LOVER. I still love my completely unedited shots. I hope the next time someone asks me if I am a photographer I can proudly say, “Yes I am!”

Here are some unedited shots for y’all. Enjoy!

These pictures were taken by Namsan Tower, it was my second time there in the two years I have lived in Korea. I need to make that hike more often!

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