What differentiates a Photographer from an Artist?

More and more photography has become a favorite past-time for the growing masses. What with the inclusion of fine tuned cameras on nearly every mobile device, the selfie craze, and the success that is Instagram, this has become an obvious observation.

I often wonder how devoted professionals in the field feel about this rush of content (and by content I mean pictures of cats and meals) flooding the Internet every day. Does it bother them? Are their professionally honed creative minds offended? Is it hard to look at?

Regardless of their feelings, the difference between OK photos and deep artistic endeavors is quite real and deals with more then just resolution and expensive equipment. For the professional photographer, or the part-time hobbyist, Roger Ballen stands as an example of the success that can come from creating deep photographic pieces. This clip is a summation of some quick advice and is posed as a question: You may be a photographer, but are you an artist?

The scenes Ballen presents are sometimes grotesque, and other times whimsical. Always the underlying scheme is to force the onlooker to view something which makes them question a facet of their assumed reality. Throughout Ballen’s work one can see what he is implying when he states that facing your fears can be the best type of inspiration. Fear is visceral, just like any emotion it grips us. Love, hate, lust, passion, and anger too all tear down the civilized tapestries we hang about our mind.

In the end we end up lost in a pattern of our own design, wandering through a daily routine, hoping for the best. The jarring and unnerving pressure we feel in our gut as we see these images can knock us loose from our labyrinth of safety. In this time we can see our feral self. In this state we may find our true beliefs or discern better a faith which once we thought was unshakable. The direction is made more interesting as you yourself have little control over it, for a successful artistic endeavor guides you by the hands into horrors and ecstasies alike.

I wonder often if literature majors would be offended by my writing? How many rules do I break? Should they read through my posts would their endeavor be akin to torture? Would it assault them, the proverbial chalk on the chalk board, causing them to weep openly and forfeit? I do hope it isn’t that bad…

Be sure to check out some of Roger Ballen’s work here at his website! His photographs are indeed next level.




Photograph via PixaBay; All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CCO. Should you see a copy of your work being used please contact us for it’s immediate removal.

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