What sets a photographer apart from someone who just takes photos?
If you’re like me, then photography is not just your job, it’s your hobby. Even though I don’t specialise in travel or street photography, whenever I travel anywhere, I can’t help but take my camera along and take some shots. But oftentimes, I’m just taking snaps.
So this video caught my eye, not least because it features my home town of Valencia. Travel and street photographer Roman Fox talks about what makes a good image and includes some great examples of how he spots potential subjects in the street. It’s absolutely fascinating.
While he’s doing his street photography, he also answers a few questions. One of which is what makes a photographer successful, and what sets apart a photographer from someone merely taking photos. His thoughts on the two topics are interesting.
Photographer or taking photos?
Roman explains that what sets the two types of photographers apart is intent. While ambling the streets can be a lovely way to pass the time when you’re on holiday, the more serious photographer will be scouting out locations and times of day to return to if they don’t get what they want the first time. The act of purposeful photography sets a photographer apart from the casual observer, Roman explains.
What defines success as a photographer?
What makes a photographer successful will be different for each individual. For some, it might be x amount of money in the bank. For others, a big exhibition or the publication of a book. For Roman, however, a successful photographer is one who continually strives for improvement.
Instead of financial gains or numbers of followers on social media, Roman says that for him, success means a commitment to refining his skills and seeing small progress year after year. This mindset emphasizes the importance of growth, and it doesn’t matter if photography is a full-time profession or a cherished hobby.
I must say that mindset is very freeing and makes it easier to be continually inspired year after year. Sure, money and likes can be counted, but what really matters is our continued fascination with seeing how a square box can capture light and make the day-to-day beautiful and interesting.
Check out the video, if only for glimpses of Valencia’s futuristic City of Arts and Sciences. If you haven’t already visited, you should add it to your list.
Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe