Claiming Photographer

So I’m blogging from Camp Shuttersisters. I wish I could describe to you the gratitude that I feel for having been blessed with the opportunity to be here. Tracey Clark has created such an amazing community with Shutter Sisters and now to have created this event where we can all come together… It’s kind of beyond words.

There is one word though that we had a bit of a chat about over lunch: photographer. I rarely, if ever, call myself a photographer. ย That’s a word for someone… else. Someone with more skills, more experience, more photos, more range, just… more. I was surprised but not to find that many of my lunch companions felt the same way. They describe themselves as someone who “does” photography or, like me with some kind of stammering um, I, uh, I take pictures. There was a general reluctance to claim the word photographer as our own. Now, I’ve seen and admired most of these women’s work. They are photographers. Good ones. So today, over lunch we gave each other permission to own, to claim and to really be photographers. Somehow with their permission it seems and ok thing to do.

I’m a photographer (heh, ok, not gonna lie. It’s still a little weird).

I’m a photographer.

I’m a photographer.


About Debra Cowie

Debra is a photographer and visual storyteller based in Ottawa, Canada. She is an explorer at heart, whose passion for photography was born in travel and has been carried with her to more than 30 countries so far. Debra is also an avid cook and baker and much of her current work focuses on food styling and photography in her serendipitously beautifully lit kitchen. She has flirted with Polaroid and 35mm film photography but her true love is her DSLR (aka "Boyfriend Mark").
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8 Responses to Claiming Photographer

  1. mosey (kim) says:

    You must certainly are. Just look at those images! I’ve also struggled with the label, but have been trying it on for size the past few months. It feels kinda good.

  2. Deb, You are most definitely a photographer but I recognise the doubt and reticence you are talking about. I felt like a fraud to claim that word but slowly, in spring this year I finally tentatively started to articulate that I am a writer. I still feel embarrassed about saying that but it eases slowly.

  3. Heidi says:

    and a damn good one too! I feel the same way about Writer (like Meg above) but there’s some incredible power to claiming your passion…

  4. You so are! And I totally hear you and feel it all over this post. Much love, from one photographer to another ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Lindsay Lofthouse says:

    As I sit here at Gate 51A in SFO, I pondered this very question while reminiscing about the past few days. Yes…we ARE photographers and damn proud of it!! Say hi to Sally for me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Lolafalola says:

    Yes. You are. Amazing time at camp…I am so glad to have shared it with you.
    Laura B.

  7. You ARE a photographer, and rightfully so. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Pingback: A Moment Captured | Manifeisty

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