You May Be A Photographer, But Are You An Artist?

“When you push the shutter and take a photo, you’re a photographer… but are you an artist?” asks photographer Roger Ballen. “As an artist, I use photography as a medium to express my artistic vision.”

In the 3-minute video above, by COOPH, Ballen offers 7 thoughts to help you become both a photographer and an artist.

Ballen is a celebrated American photographer who lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. His photos are often referred to as “dark,” and he says his images refer to the “shadow side” of humanity.

Photographer Roger Ballen.
Photographer Roger Ballen.

Here’s a quick rundown of Ballen’s 7 thoughts:

1. The Purpose of Art

“Why do some works stick? Why are some works fleeting? If you ponder this, then you may be an artist.”

2. Redefine Your World

“How do you define anything? If you redefine your understanding of words, then you may be an artist.”

3. Visual Relationships

“When you learn to see strong, complex visceral relationships beyond words, then you may be an artist.”

4. A Vision is Unique

“When you learn every moment is crucial, and that no picture can be repeated, then you may be an artist.”

5. Search Within

“You need to travel deep inside yourself to create a good picture.”

6. Break Through Your Mind

“If you can let go and break through your mind, then you may be an artist.”

7. Face Your Fears

“If you confront your fears, this will certainly assist your artistic endeavors.”