I'm A...

Hi guys!!!! 

So I've been thinking lately... what do we mean when we say we're a _________? When can we call ourselves _______________? What qualifies us as ______________?

Don't get what I mean?

I'm a photographer.  I didn't know when to start calling myself a photographer. I've had a "fancy camera" for years, but I didn't figure out how to really use it until about a year ago. Then, I took pictures of family and friends for free to practice. I did my first paid shoot in August of 2013. I still didn't feel comfortable calling myself a photographer, and I'm not sure why. I have poured hours of my life into studying photography, learning about light, learning all the tips and tricks of my camera, studying posing and composition, etc. etc. I've poured thousands of dollars into equipment and lenses. I've come a very long way, but I know I have a long way to go. I'm a photographer, but am I really? Do I really qualify as one?
I'm a runner.  I have a problem calling myself a runner. Nevermind the fact that I can run 8+ miles without stopping - I just don't feel like a runner. I'm not fast, I don't live to run, I don't really even care for it all that much, but does that mean I'm not a runner? Do I qualify as a runner even though it's not my favorite thing in the world? How do I make that distinction?

I'm sure there are plenty more __________s that I could fill, but those are the two I've been thinking of lately. What about you? What are your _________s that you question? What are you? 

17 comments:

Alex Butts said...

I'd love for you to do some photography tutorials because I have had my camera for 3 years and still can't use it, particularly in low light.

Susan said...

Hmmm... "I am a writer." Even though I was employed as a professional writer for several years, I still question that one. But if I can't write, I'm not exactly "myself," it seems.

Genna said...

I took a few photography classes in college and they were so helpful. My prof required I use my camera only in manual so I know how it really works. It was seriously the best thing he could have asked of me! Love the back light in that shot, too!

Krysten Gautreaux said...

Sigh. Sometimes I'm a writer. But sometimes.... I question it. I need to stop that and just embrace it. I write every single day. I'm a writer.

RadiantKristen said...

I will always question that I'm a runner, a yogi, an athlete. None of those terms feel natural when they roll around in my head.

Lately I haven't felt much like a blogger either. Just one of those phases, maybe. I don't know.

Sarah Shumate said...

These are good questions! Personally, I think you can call yourself these things when they become a big part of your life, like they are in yours.

Like, in my case, I run and take pictures, but I wouldn't call myself a runner or a photographer because they're just things I DO, not things that I make a living off of or do every single day.

Miki {Becoming What I Always Was} said...

I am struggling with the photographer thing to. I've only done one professional shoot, but I feel like a poser saying I'm a photographer. It took me a long time to call myself a blogger too. I'm not sure when I got comfortable with that title, but now I definitely don't mind being a blogger.

Kim Matheson said...

Holy moly, yes. Ugh. Right?

I am a writer. ...but I don't make time to write. After a day with The Little Dude, when The Husband comes home, I want/don't want to sit down and write. I should (I have an awful case of The Shoulds. Always and forever), but I don't. Because I don't devote all of my non-babytime hours to writing, how can I consider myself a writer? I might as well just quit now and spare myself the heartache of future failure.

My internal dialogue is not happy. Good grief.

Kylie said...

Ironically enough, I recently posted on this very subject. I think you can call yourself both! Here's my post, if you're interested :) http://kyliepondphoto.blogspot.com/2014/03/im-photographer.html

Elsha said...

I love this! I go through the same thing, wondering and accepting what I am and what I have become. It is difficult to realize that you have become the thing you have been aspiring to be for so long

phoenixxphyre said...

I tend to think that if you do something, you can call yourself [thing]er. I kind of struggle with the labels myself. I call myself a writer. I got a degree in creative writing. I've published some things (even been paid for a few whoop whoop), but then there are times I go weeks, sometimes even months without writing and I wonder if it's still legit to call myself that when there are people who write every single day. Meh. As in everything, there are people who are going to be more dedicated and less dedicated and spend more time, energy, effort, etc. on one thing than another. I don't have a fancy camera or know all that much about the other things you mention. I just like to take pictures. So, I just say "I like to take a ridiculous amount of photos" instead of "I am a photographer." But you, I think you can call yourself one.

phoenixxphyre said...

I tend to think that if you do something, you can call yourself [thing]er. I kind of struggle with the labels myself. I call myself a writer. I got a degree in creative writing. I've published some things (even been paid for a few whoop whoop), but then there are times I go weeks, sometimes even months without writing and I wonder if it's still legit to call myself that when there are people who write every single day. Meh. As in everything, there are people who are going to be more dedicated and less dedicated and spend more time, energy, effort, etc. on one thing than another. I don't have a fancy camera or know all that much about the other things you mention. I just like to take pictures. So, I just say "I like to take a ridiculous amount of photos" instead of "I am a photographer." But you, I think you can call yourself one.

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