what you do vs who you are

I was talking to a friend the other day and he asked if I had been taking pictures. Clearly he is not caught up on my blog, tee-hee. Anyway, his question got me thinking.

I have lots of interests and hobbies. I don’t consider photography to be one of them. To me, taking pictures isn’t something I do; it’s part of who I am. I’ve taken pictures for as long as I can remember, as the albums in my living room will attest. It doesn’t matter if I do anything with the pictures. It doesn’t matter if anyone else sees them. It doesn’t matter if anyone else likes them. It doesn’t matter if I don’t seem to improve. It doesn’t matter if I don’t have a purpose for taking pictures. It doesn’t matter if I have a “good” camera. None of that is important. I capture the things I see with a camera – that just happens to be part of who I am. Hmmmm .. I guess I can call myself a photographer!


(photo in honor of Love Thursday on chookooloonks)


16 Responses to “what you do vs who you are”

  1. You are a photographer! And it’s so wonderful because it brings many people of different walks together and let’s us escape our lives for a bit while we think about and appreciate your artwork. Thank you for that.

    I’m trying to think if there is anything that is innately “me”… I think I need to find something!

  2. I really like your description of photographer, E. I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures, starting out with a Kodak Instamatic – the kind with the square flash cube on top that you got four flashes out of. That probably dates me a bit. 😛

  3. Your description is perfect. I am only new to photography but I feel this way and my hard drive is filling fast. I often think how silly I was to think photography was only for recording holidays and special events. Of course I now have developed a passion for photography are realise and regret how wrong I was.

  4. I love this post. I feel the exact same way about writing. It’s not something I do, but rather a part of who I am.

  5. this is why i have posted phone photos. i just need the moment, the light, the framed bit of an experience. but i do want a juicier camer. really a very lot, lot, lot. and i love you, too! was this sand proclamation found or created by you?

  6. jen: I created it; I thought it would make a good photo for Love Thursday at some point. Also I like to write in the sand ..

  7. I couldn’t have said it better myself:
    ‘A part of who I am’.
    Wonderful post!!!!

  8. i came to this party late …began taking photos as a “part of who I am” last summer just before a monumental birthday…and have not looked back….many thanks for your on going inspiration here! ELK

  9. I love you too. And, yes, you are a photographer. 🙂

  10. julie: do share then – I’d like to hear!

    toni: hmmmm .. it seems vaguely familiar!

    liss: you’re making up for lost time now! I actually prefer taking photos in the non-special moments; those are the ones that mean the most to me.

    ofg: I always enjoy reading your blog posts, so I’m glad you share your writing with us at least a little!

    marcie: thanks!

    elk: you’re welcome. thank you for yours – in both words and photos, and photos of sam of course. 🙂

    amy: I think you are a lapsed photographer. 😉

  11. A wonderful post, well said.

    Speaking personally, I have never felt comfortable beneath the broad umbrella of categorisation, or tags. I’ve observed my life, the world and the beauty of life through my eyes and lens since as far back as I can remember, but I never categorise myself as ‘a photographer’. The same with my writing, I am certainly not ‘a writer’.

    I prefer to think of it as another facet of me, of my being. And people who get to know me are often surprised when they discover that I bare my soul in words and photographs, because it’s so personal that I rarely mention it. A love, a passion, a driving force in my life, two of the very things which guide me onwards and allow me to revisit my past, they are so much a part of my life that I class them as part of me. I enjoy them every day, like walking, but I do not call myself a walker.

    A great post that got me thinking, thank you Elizabeth

  12. ews: thank *you*. your comment got me thinking as well. I don’t always label myself in terms of my bits and pieces; we are all so much bigger than that. However, the reason I ended the post the way I did is similar to my earlier post on creativity. Much like creative, I used to have a specific narrow definition for photographer, one that did not include me. Giving myself that label is more of a reminder that the definition is much more expansive than I originally perceived it to be – and that I do fit.

  13. this i know about you and although i am confounded by it due to my perspective on my own photography i am always intrigued by and delighted with your photographic style. and most especially your company 🙂

  14. Oh,yes, you are a photographer. And, I’d say that you are getting better. Please tell me you didn’t start this good?? If you did, there may be no hope for me.

  15. I really like your description of what a photographer is. I enjoy your photographic sense…also thanks, for stopping by my “necessary room”.

  16. robin: I love your company too!

    relyn: I think I am better than I was in some ways, though in others, I feel like I’m still the same. There is hope for all of us!

    se’lah: you’re welcome; I enjoyed my visit. 🙂

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