Ok.. for start, I am a photographer, not a tog, clicker, snapper, pho-tog, GWC or any other title that seems to be coming a frequent addition to the online forum lexicon. I am not sure why these terms wind me up so much but they do, and I think it has more to do with the way people use them. Nothing winds me up more than photographers referring to each other or even clients using these terms.
It must be something about the way that ‘tog’ makes us sound cheap that gets to me. It is an awful way to refer to a persons craft and profession. We already have to contend with being ‘content producers’ in a ‘service industry’ from the client side and it is an extra kick in the teeth then other people who enjoy the world of photography support the slang terms too.
A few years ago, photographer (staying nameless) accused me of only being a ‘button clicker’ as I was shooting following a make-up artists plans and concepts. He said to me that I was just a clicker as none of the ideas where mine and that I my involvement was to just press the button. It annoyed me at the time and might of stuck around more than I thought in my head. Being a photographer is a very complex thing. We do many things and not just push buttons like the simplified slang terms imply. From building up the investment in my work, the long hours of planning, research, training, editing and shooting I like to think I do more than press buttons. The camera is one tiny aspect of what we do.
In my eyes, if you are happy to be called a ‘tog’ and happy to call other a ‘tog’ you are acknowledging one very small aspect of the craft and feathering the mindset that photography is only about pressing buttons and that the camera is all important. I find the type of person using this term is the same person obsessed with sharpness, bokeh and the less artistic elements of photography. I think that it is no coincidence that the people who love to moan online in the deep bowels of the internet and not out shooting are the people using these terms.
While we are righting some wrongs, the internet is bad place. I am always aware as a whole we all spend way to much time online. I kind of think that photographers belong outside in the world, not on online forums. Not a day goes by that I hear of something said something about someone on some place. Shame on these gossips and name callers who hide behind a keyboard. In short, the term ‘tog’ reminds me of this bitchy angry world that lurks online. I don’t like it and don’t want to be a part of it.
About The Author
Dave Kai Piper is a UK based Fashion & Portrait Photographer. As well as being a Pentax Ambassador, Fuji X-Photographer, 3 legged thing & Lexar Ambassador, DKP works as a consultant though Ideas & Images for such companies as Future Publishing. DKP is also an Adobe Community Professional. You can follow Dave on his Blog, Facebook and Twitter. This article was originally written for AP Magazine – “Viewpoint” article (p8, 6 April), published here and shared with permission.