So I was wondering, what is a real photographer?

I have Instagram on my phone since last night. I love taking photos of kittens, feet, cups of coffee, half of my face, my doodles, stuff I collect. And it looks pretty in Instagram. Really. I’ve also nagged a friend for a Lomography camera, but he’s not likely to succumb.

The thing is, I think anyone who can use a photo app and upload a photo, will do so. Without being judged and just for sharing the photo. Just to show that they too can use a technology to their benefit. It isn’t to call themselves photographers. And really, if I write with passion, I’m a writer. If I click with passion, I am a photographer. If I sing with passion, for me, and for anyone else on the world who thinks I’m a nut to do so- I AM a singer.

I’ve noticed how a lot of people on twitter are being rather condescending to people who aren’t professionally into photography, but are uploading their shots on the TL. That’s what social media is about, isn’t it? Each follow creates a window to the other’s world. If you don’t like a view, you’re welcome to close the window. Telling a person what he/she thinks of themselves is being rather unreasonable, no?

Instagram allows me to take photos like I’m artsy. If it were a portal that discriminates between the cell-phone camera brigade and the Nikon-in-the-LowePro-brandishing folk, I would have to work towards it.

At the end of the day, the content sells. That’s why I follow a Shiv Ahuja or a Roycin D’souza. That’s what I think is great photography. They’re photographers. With or without an App. None of my Instagram gang is even claiming to be like them- the fact that they put it up under their Instagram links is proof enough of their blatancy. “Look, I have an app- check this shot” is the statement and not “Look, I’m a photographer and I can make this come true”.

For those who know and even for those who don’t, I have been fed with SLRs before there was social media. My first Nikon was at the age of 13 and today, I use a Canon 50D. I’m 21- so yes; I’ve been on the scene for a good 8 years now. My photographs aren’t out of the world, but I take pride in my ability to frame good moments and make them look good. I do go for gigs and try my hand at photographing the artists in action and sometimes, and with practice- an increasing number of times, I get good shots. I am an amateur photographer because if you hand me a DSLR, I will know every detail of what setting suits the environment I’m in. It's fair to say that I've toed the other side of the fence as well.

But with that app in my phone, I’m an average, non-professional girl with a phone-camera again. Taking shots of interesting things that make life around me. Like my feet- which are no one’s concern but mine, but which I want to share a picture of.

Because I can, and because a free app on my smart-phone makes them look different than what I see them as. Even prettier, maybe.

But definitely not to point at me and say, hey- I’m a photographer. I’m a person with an App. Don’t want to use it? Don’t.

I want to.  


  1. First of all, I agree completely with your post. I think there are entirely too many smug photographers who think using Instagram is a) not photography and b) worthy of condescension. However, it's also true that the reason they think this is because of the vast number of people who DON'T think as you do and who genuinely believe they are great photographers because they use an app. They may be decent at compositions, but that's about it.

    I've tried to stay as neutral in this comment as possible, because I honestly feel I don't know what side to come down on, on this issue.

  2. it always should be about the photo..not who took it.. and how it was taken..and with what tool it was taken etc..



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