...tographer, that is.
I've been hearing a lot about this debate lately and it's been driving me a little bit crazy (or at least it's making me crazier than usual).
I consider myself a photographer BUT in a strictly hobbiest way. I'm a photographer because I take photographs (but, not being a professional, I'm probably firmly in "fauxtographer" realm to most people). I won't pretend to know much about the DSLR that I sometimes use (I'm working on getting to know it; it's normally not on the auto setting, I know how to white balance, the rule of thirds, aperture and shutter priority, etc. but I still have far to go) and I'm not going to prate on about how unique my shots are (or how much better than they are than those "philistine" studio photographers or some such nonsense).
That being said, I don't like the dichotomy and elitism that's happening, even if it is just from a few whiny people. I've seen plenty of shots from "professional" photographers (those who make their income solely from taking pictures) that make me want to cringe and take away their camera but I have also seen beautiful photos from hobbyists and people that some would consider fauxtographers.
On a bit of a side rant, don't knock the point and shoot. Not everyone aspires to be the next Teenie Harris and not everyone has the time, money, muscles, or motivation to carry around an SLR or DSLR everywhere they go. I always try to have my point and shoot with me because I will NOT carry the big camera most places and I don't want to miss an opportunity to capture something.
(As a note, I know some people who think this is blasphemous: better to leave it uncaptured than to take a point and shoot picture, which I think is a horrible mentality! I don't want to sell the picture to a gallery, I just want to be able to look back on an occasion and smile and remember.)
In the digital age, anyone can take pictures and enjoy it and being a photographer in some sense of the word. It's become much more accessible (I most likely wouldn't be taking pictures if I had to use film all the time) and available to everyone. Just because they're taking pictures and having fun doesn't mean they're trying to horn in on your field. Try to relax and just be pleased that something you love is bringing joy to others.