What is the difference between a Photographer and Someone who takes snapshots...

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#1 ChibiDannimon on 5 years ago

I been taking pictures at Anime Cons and even done a a few studio shoots but when I see my work and compare it to other photographers I feel like Im just taking glorified snapshots as to actual photographs. Like my work is no different than someone who takes photos using a camera phone. *I use a Canon Rebel T4i*

How does someone move from being a snap shooter to an actual photographer, the top links are the "pictures" Ive taken and the bottom links are what I like to call actual photographs.

Snapshots that looks like iPhone photos...
[url]http://dannimondesigns.deviantart.com/art/KollisiconConSaturday-197-420884625[/url]
[url]http://dannimondesigns.deviantart.com/art/NYE-Fionna-426181405[/url]
[url]http://dannimondesigns.deviantart.com/art/KollisiconConSaturday-115-426181591[/url]
[url]http://dannimondesigns.deviantart.com/art/KollisiconConSaturday-655-426181841[/url]

Actual Photographs done by respected artists
[url]http://thesoulcrash.deviantart.com/art/C2E2-13-Enchantress-x-Loki-375432917[/url]
[url]http://larina-satome.deviantart.com/art/AT-Waiting-for-Adventure-420965118[/url]
[url]http://harustrawberry.deviantart.com/art/C-mon-Puddin-419549337[/url]
[url]http://shiroikobato.deviantart.com/art/Flame-Princess-408626118:[/url]

#2 SirWonderusMary on 5 years ago

In my opinion, a snap shot photographer is an un-edited photograph, but normally not done in a worth-while environment. On the other hand, some people have the best selection of where to take the picture, but these photographers don't think too much of the lighting in these scenarios.

A professional photographer will know the best choice in where to take a pictures, how to get the lighting to bring out the models or background and overall knowledge in the photography industry. They also have skill in editing a picture, but with a faint hint that they did it so it isn't an obvious "Photoshop" edit.

But again, these are my thoughts on what a professional photographer is versus casual photographer. I'd love to reach that level as well, but I still need practice and hope my answer helps you in anyway.

#3 figment1986 on 5 years ago

I'm a hobbiest, im not a professional nor am I an ameture, but I'm trying to improve my skills to be better. Photographers spend time trying to make the best image possible, even if taken in a hallway. other people take hallway photos, do minimal clean up if any at all then post them.

However like cosplayers photographers come in all skill sets, I used to do minimal editing and now am learning to use lightroom and photoshop to anew level when before it was just jpg and photoshop now it's RAW and lightroom, then photoshop if needed.

just keep looking at the work of others to get inspired, sometimes the best photos come from the newest people who take an accident.

#4 WonJohnSoup on 5 years ago

Professional to me is always kind of weird because I only think of the classic professions like doctor, pharmacists, lawyers, priests, military officers, etc. Basically, one in which you need a licensing body holding up practice standards in an occupation that requires long training and has a higher calling beyond that of good monetary compensation. Applying it to any other profession, especially one that's pure art like photography just means you're getting paid for it, regardless of what kind of photographs you're taking or how good you are at it.

In terms of being a "Photographer" versus a "snap shot taker," it's pretty much that to me. A photographer understands the technique(s) required to produce the image that's been pre-visualized and directed towards a specific aesthetic and emotional impact. "You know exactly what you want and know how to get it because you know what you're doing."

A snap shotter takes an image of pure opportunity to record an occurrence. Even a National Geographic photographer who is sent out to record events still understands and employs sophisticated techniques to create an emotional impact in the viewer, even if the photographer in that case is highly discouraged from manipulating his/her "models."

#5 Ashurachan on 5 years ago

I started out as a snap shooter because I wanted to share the cosplays I saw at cons with others (I'm a cosplayer myself to begin with, and when I got my first digital camera, there were very few photographers).
I gradually became more aware of what I was doing, starting with composition and directing cosplayers to get more flattering shots. At some point, I had to learn actual technique and a bit of theory ; but I think that the key is more about thinking about getting a good shot, than actually knowing how to.
Having a critical eye on your own photos is the most important I think.
Checking each photo after taking it, and ask the cosplayer to pose again if it's not good enough for either of you.
Not publishing everything, but only the shots you deem good enough to be.
Post-process in order to polish each photo you want to publish (at a minimum, correct exposure/crop - if needed).
I don't go to cons with a lighting setup. I just bring my DSLR with a couple of small lenses because I don't want to carry a lot of bulk for just a couple of hours shooting (I don't go to cons just to shoot). But when I do shoot, I use my minimal gear to its full potential and try to do something _nice_. It won't be as nice as what the guys with the big gear do, but it won't be mere snapshots either.
I still take snapshots - things I took in a hurry because I came across a costume I like ; but I will only publish the ones I find good enough. And I will process them like my other shots.
Here's a directory of my con pictures if you want to have a look :
[url]http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashurachan/collections/72157622567002124/[/url]

#6 nathancarter on 5 years ago

Composition; lighting; technical proficiency with equipment; pose/expression/emotion ([URL="http://www.jaymaisel.com/biography/"]Jay Maisel[/URL] uses the term "Gesture"); appropriate post-processing (including culling out the bad ones).

Snapshots are taken with minimal consideration given to lighting, surroundings, pose, etc. They're usually just something like: look at the camera and smile, click, done, publish.

It's hard to get more than a "snapshot" in a convention center hallway. Doubly so if you're shooting a group. The lighting is drab and unflattering, the surroundings are close and ugly and crowded.

#7 Access on 5 years ago

People can make a bunch of useless distinctions -- I am this... I am that, but in the end, it doesn't get you anywhere. It's just meaningless semantics.

I would say the most practical distinction is if the relevant audience for your photos extends beyond yourself, ie. people look at, comment/communicate on, or like your photos, or people ask you for photos (in person or before the con); then you can call yourself a photographer.

In other words, a snapshooter's photos are ignored by the rest-of-world, they don't affect it. While a photographer is someone who can affect the world through a photo, at least with at least some kind of repeatability. It might not be a huge impact/effect, but it's something.

#8 brucer007 on 5 years ago

Someone who takes snapshots snaps photos quickly, just to capture a moment, without much, or any thought to aesthetics.

A photographer puts effort into bringing elements together, such as composition, lighting, and directing poses, to create a certain look, or a more pleasing photo.

To move from taking snapshot to become a photographer, increase understanding the principles of photography. Be come aware of how things like Shutter Speed, Lens Aperture, Lens Choice, Lighting, and Composition affect the end result.

#9 Hcoregamer00 on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=brucer007;4811816]Someone who takes snapshots snaps photos quickly, just to capture a moment, without much, or any thought to aesthetics.

A photographer puts effort into bringing elements together, such as composition, lighting, and directing poses, to create a certain look, or a more pleasing photo.

To move from taking snapshot to become a photographer, increase understanding the principles of photography. Be come aware of how things like Shutter Speed, Lens Aperture, Lens Choice, Lighting, and Composition affect the end result.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I don't want to put people into too many boxes, but that is essentially what I wanted to post. A snapshot person basically takes photos without considering the art of photography, a photographer considers how they can use the art of photography to create magic with skills and techniques.

#10 Flinn on 5 years ago

I'm pretty much a snapshooter at this point. I've only used a dslr twice to take portraits and it was my first at a convention. It was also my first time using an external flash as well. Very much a beginner.

[IMG]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-zrf4Ef9Z7hU/UtWjAWjmhTI/AAAAAAAAAaY/yteESofBsvA/w681-h1022-no/IMG_6475.jpg[/IMG]

#11 Surfsama on 5 years ago

[QUOTE]What is the difference between a Photographer and Someone who takes snapshots? [/QUOTE]

Love

#12 fam-cosplayphotographer on 5 years ago

Well stuck in a snowed in con on a sunday, most of what i did were probably more "snapshots" than artistic....stupid ohio, cant wait till it warms up.

[url]http://www.flickr.com/photos/thegreatjonashley/sets/72157640192028455/[/url]

#13 figment1986 on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=nathancarter;4811084]Composition; lighting; technical proficiency with equipment; pose/expression/emotion ([URL="http://www.jaymaisel.com/biography/"]Jay Maisel[/URL] uses the term "Gesture"); appropriate post-processing (including culling out the bad ones).

Snapshots are taken with minimal consideration given to lighting, surroundings, pose, etc. They're usually just something like: look at the camera and smile, click, done, publish.

It's hard to get more than a "snapshot" in a convention center hallway. Doubly so if you're shooting a group. The lighting is drab and unflattering, the surroundings are close and ugly and crowded.[/QUOTE]

This is exactly what all of my photographer friends have been telling me... Hallway shots are good for promotional, but bad for portolio... to get to the next level reduce snapshots and try to spend time with the model... lighting is #1 important. it's a good thing I know the north/south wing of the orange county convention center so well... and can get the most optimal lighting for these non hallway shots at megacon. Granted I'm not a pro or even a hobiest yet... but im learning.

#14 sukotsuto on 5 years ago

I wouldn't say hallway shots are bad for a portfolio. It really depends on your goals. If you do want that whimsical carbon copy feel of a given anime or game, then yeah, you really need to focus on private photo sessions. In that case you need to find locations that really work for a given character. That's pretty challenging, but rewarding too. Hallway cosplay photos have an appeal of their own in my opinion. It shows the viewer a true picture of the convention scene and I think that's a good thing. I also try to focus on whether the person in the photo will like the image rather than my photographer peers.

The example photos of the original poster would suggest he is focusing more on trying to improve technical quality rather than style. It makes sense because style will probably come after he understands how to make technically "perfect" images in any given situation.

1st group of pictures:
1: Your focus was off. Probably a check of the image after the fact would be the best thing to do. Take multiple photos per cosplayer to reduce the risk of an accident.
2: You need to learn how to balance background and foreground exposure when using flash. This can be done a number of ways from going full manual settings to using aperture priority but with a fixed ISO and potentially some exposure compensation.
3: The harsh shadows come from a distant physically small light source. For hallway photos you will probably need a happy medium of mobility and soft light capability. Bigger diffusers for the flash are better and the way you angle the photo and how close you are to a wall is important in avoiding the shadow.
4: This is similar to the 3rd, but better.

2nd group of pictures (think of ideas like this in the field to improve while taking pictures):
1: Likely off-camera flash or alien bee strobe (he has one of those) with a 70-200 lens potentially. He also probably cropped it to likely remove something distracting from the picture.
2: Potentially multiple off-camera flash and took the subject to an empty area so the background is simple. Notice the perspective is low. This plays a part in how your subject will look.
3: Multiple lights with a paper backdrop. You can sometimes set that up at conventions, but always ask for permission. with your backdrop, have the subject far away from it to minimize chance of shadow and getting the texture of the paper/cloth from being visible in the photo.
4: link doesn't work

Lenses can make a big different. On average, most people prefer the look of large aperture. Get a 35mm or 50mm prime lens with a large aperture (say f1.8) and use that for a while to see if it fits your goals.

Treat it all as a never ending process of learning and applying techniques to accomplish what you imagine the photo should look like.

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