Sid talks about the ever-growing difficulty of defining oneself:
Do we really need to perpetually broaden the terms we use to encapsulate ever-growing meanings? Identity is painfully important, but not at the expense of all accuracy, surely?
He makes some valid points throughout the whole post, but I don’t think he has me convinced. I’m a person that exists to throw himself 100% into something (for me, “something” usually means “everything.”) I haven’t quite grown to accept that titles are worth nothing.
My undergrad degree, while in truth a music marketing degree, was located in an endowed classical college of music. I, along with hundreds of fellow students, dove headfirst into the art and craft of formalized music study—to compare ourselves to the typical “college guy with a guitar” was laughable. Elitism was bred into us, whether it was meant to or not. We were “music majors.” “Classical musicians.” I’m “a pianist.” “A real pianist.”
The same could go for photography on my end. Do I call myself a photographer? Absolutely. There were many years of my life where every dollar in my bank account came from photography of some kind. Hours and hours of research, practice, trial-and-error. Sid makes this point in his article too: “Surely snapping a picture of your feet and plastering a filter on it can’t be all it takes. What does the term photographer really mean if it applies to anyone on planet earth?”
There’s an air of selfishness in this desire to be defined. A desire to be “recognized” for your time, effort, achievements. Indeed, I’ll admit that.
As always, I have no answer. I’m hopeless when it comes to defining myself, because I’ve grown beyond the ability to be easily defined. But, by nature, I yearn to be defined. That’s my job title these days.