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What is a "Photographic Artist?"

Some time ago I attended an exhibition to try to understand why one exhibitor called himself a “Photographic Artist.”
What, I wondered, was the difference between him, Patrick Lichfield who was a photographer, and myself, a family album snapper?
His photographs were printed on expensive paper.
The frames were attractive.
His photographs were of leafless, isolated trees or nudes drapped over rocks.
All were black and white.
I freely admit I’m not a photographer, so we can eliminate me from this.
But what, or who, decides if a photographer is an artist?
What criteria are applied?
By whom?
Does the camera make a difference, the ability to use lights, the imagination, opportunity…
I still don’t know, does anybody out there???
Is the question really, “What is art?”


  • Jon C
    Jon Calmost 7 years ago

    Art in my view is about creativity, someone who `creates’ is an artist…..simple

  • whisperingruth
    whisperingruthalmost 7 years ago

    I think we are all “artists” Jesika . . . all of us learning along the way . . .

  • Lindak
    Lindakalmost 7 years ago

    Hi Jesika! Well I am no professional myself, but I did ask this question on another site awhile back and this was the answer I recieved from another non-professional. A photographic artist is one who can get just the right angle, lighting and depth on a photo as they shoot it without any manipulations to the photo what so ever afterwards. Now I don’t know if this is at all true, but in a way it did make sense to me at the time. The way I take it, it all has to do with the way the photographer sees it through the lens when shooting it. Now I am wanting to research this to find out myself. Linda

  • brirose55
    brirose55almost 7 years ago

    we are all artist in our own unique way

  • Mike Finley
    Mike Finleyalmost 7 years ago

    But what, or who, decides if a painter is an artist?

    What criteria are applied?

    By whom?

    The tools used aren’t important; it’s the imagination and vision – using the tools is the ‘craft’ that lets the ‘art’ be made real

  • wildrider58
    wildrider58almost 7 years ago

    Exactly, I totally agree with the above comments…Art is art… Art is beautiful no matter what or who takes a photo, paint etc..

  • eyestrange
    eyestrangealmost 7 years ago

    you ARE a photographer – as for art – I believe its something visually pleasing to the viewer and can be displayed.

  • David Librach - DL Photography -
    David Librach ...almost 7 years ago

    Ahh, yes…what is an ‘artist’? It’s just like what is art? The question with no answer. It’s all up to individual interpretation.

    As far as what is a “photographic artist”, to me it is someone who calls themselves and ‘artist’ who happens to use a camera as their medium of choice. What is the difference between a photographer and a photographic artist? Again, it all comes down to personal interpretation.

    I think in this day and age, many people are trying to distinguish themselves from the masses. By labeling themselves as an artist (or photographic artist in this case), they may just be trying to separate what they do from the majority of other people.

    I call myself an artist. Why? Simply because people are looking for an answer to the question “What do you do?” that they can grasp and hold on to. I personally would prefer to answer with “I am.” to that question, but people would look at me quizzically. Therefor I give them something that they grasp. Everyone has their own interpretation of what it means to be an artist so I leave it with them to decide what it means.

  • Karen Martin
    Karen Martinalmost 7 years ago

    I don’t think there is an answer to this – art is in the eye of the beholder; what I consider art would not be art to someone else. Therefore you can be a Photographic Artist to one person but not to another.
    Just do what you do and enjoy and others will enjoy also. As you will enjoy work by others

  • AlisonJohnston
    AlisonJohnstonalmost 7 years ago

    Linda mentioned that someone told her

    A photographic artist is one who can get just the right angle, lighting and depth on a photo as they shoot it without any manipulations to the photo what so ever afterwards

    And I would say that isn’t true, all photographers who develop/ed their own film fudge around with an image in the darkroom. It is important to “SEE”, all cameras can record an image, but it is up to the photographer to SEE the image.