Has anyone noticed that all of a sudden everyone and their mother is a "photographer"?! You know when you buy a new car that you swear NO ONE has, but then you get on the road and just on the 10 mile drive to your house you see about 300 of them? I feel this way with my job. When people ask "So, what do you do for a living?" and I say "photographer", 9 times out of 10 the response is "oh yeah?! that's cool! I like to take pictures too." I would like to say "that's great, but there is a difference between picking up a camera at the right time and clicking the button and being psychotically passionate about it". There is lighting, composition, knowledge of the camera itself, color, creativity, and even a little yoga in there. You have to be able to visually see it with your eyes, click with your brain, have your camera set right, and be in the right place at the right time all within a 100th of a second. THEN, with all of those things falling perfectly into place be able to get 'the shot'.
Imagine with me for a second:
*Emily is being cute, jumping on the bed in her pajamas that conveniently have a tutu built into the pants. Aaron is laying just to the side with a old comfy feather pillow under his head. The pillow has a little tear in the corner of it. The blinds are closed, but the sun is going down and shining perfectly through the backside of the blinds. Aaron starts to play pillow fight with Emily and one little feather poofs out the hole, and glows as it drifts in and out of the sunlight gleaming through the blinds and lands softly on the bed. "BOOF", Aaron hits Emily again and as she falls on the bed, rolling in hysterical laughter, "poof", 2 feathers come out of the tear that I see has gotten bigger. With all of this noticed and so not to disturb the moment much I walk around the side of the bed, open the blinds all the way and sneek out to grab my camera*
Of course this is all a hypothetical situation but if you can't literally SEE (in your head) where I'm going with this then I apologize, because I can see the AMAZING picture that this would create after that pillow busted open a little more. I would take a deep breath, steady my camera, close my eyes, say a little prayer to God that the next "BOOF" would result in my bedroom being throughly engulfed in glowing sunlit feathers that slowly drifted down to my bed as my husband and daughter laugh hysterically. A completely candid moment that was seen before it happened.
I believe that a "true" photographer has to have this mindset. 'See' the moment before it happens, prep the moment for lighting and color, remove anything that you don't want anyone seeing (i.e. dirty underwear or a beer can that would DESTROY the picture or result in hours of photoshop) ALL without disturbing the moment that, cross your fingers, will happen.
Of course this is not the photographer I am claiming to be, but when say that I am a "photographer" this is what I'm telling people that I am striving to become.