Jon is not a photographer

by Jon Sullivan - 2020-08-20

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I'm glad you all like the photos, but really, I'm not a photographer.

For World Photography Day yesterday I posted a few of my favorite photos over on my Facebook page. Mainly just being lazy as I didn't have time to make a proper blog post. The number of comments about how wonderful they were made me happy. Nothing I've done in my life has gotten the amount of praise and compliments that my photos have. It feels good to know that at least in some small way I've brought something beautiful to others.

But while I know I can produce good photos, I'm really not a photographer. I'm a gamer, programmer, reformed asshole, old fat person, etc. But not a photographer. First of all being a Photographer brings with it all sorts of expectations I just will never meet. "Hey, Jon is a photographer, he'll take our office photos." No. He won't. At all. Ever. Hired a professional. "Hey, Jon you're a photographer, how much to take our wedding photos." No. Not doing it. At all. Ever. Hired a professional. Or the expectation I'll have something cool posted regularly. Which I won't. I rarely pick up a camera.

It's my hobby. Sometimes I do it for fun. And while I'm very appreciative of the compliments, I also know that real photographers do it much better. For example I follow Nick Page's Photography for inspiration. I've stood at the exact same spots as many of his best photos, and my images from those spots are crap compared to his. And I really don't want to get held to that expectation. Real photographers put in the work. I don't.

Obviously I take pride in my photos. My apartment is basically wallpapered with my prints. And I'm not saying I think my work is crap. But I am almost always disappointed. While processing the raw images I spend most of that time scowling at the lost opportunity for a better composition. I should have done some exposure stacking. I should stop being lazy and use a star tracker. I should have found some foreground. I should have picked an f-stop rather than just assumed Jesus would do it for me.

So.... Thank you all. I appreciate it. But no, I will not photograph your wedding. Ever. At all.

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2020-08-20 12:29:44 : Ha ha! Photographed my wedding! But, the only reason we planned our wedding the way we did is so you could get OTHER cool photos. Like a guy in a slot canyon playing a flute.

Jon Sullivan
2020-08-20 12:40:32 : Well, you get privileges.

Erik Burrows
2020-08-20 14:28:13 : "Real photographers put in the work. I don't. ... And I'm not saying I think my work is crap. But I am almost always disappointed." - I feel the same way about my photography, but when I can step back from the nit-picking mindset, I try to remember that it was the trip and story around the photo that I really get happiness and contentment from. I posted a picture to FB a few days back I titled "The road to Sagittarius A", which was... ok. The stars could have popped more, the road didn't have enough contrast, there's some red tinge from my headlamp.... But what was awesome was that I was out there, spending hours in the wild, with the galaxy on fire overhead, trying new things. AND HEY, I did actually get a picture that looks like the road is going into the galaxy center. That's the picture I set out to get before I even left for vacation. Yay!

Jon Sullivan
2020-08-20 14:54:21 : Erik - You and me both man. I do love the hobby though. Very rewarding. Gets me out of the house. That "The Road to Sagittarius A" photo is impressive.

Erik Burrows
2020-08-20 15:54:56 : Thanks! BTW I love your astrophotos. They were part of my inspiration to do more Astro pics and get a tracker.

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