'We’re all photographers now. Or are we? Certainly, it has its uses to paint with a brush wide enough to turn everybody who takes photographers under whatever circumstances into a photographer. It makes writing nicely populist, feel-good pieces easy, pieces that crop up on the internet like weeds. But the ideas that we’re all photographers or that photography is the most democratic medium really only have ideological uses. Take away the ideology, start asking some hard questions, and suddenly things are not so simple any longer
Let’s assume that we are not all photographers. If that is the case, here’s the crucial question: what is it that photographers do that those who occasionally or regularly photograph don’t do? Populists will usually bring up the distinction between professional photographers and so-called amateurs and how that distinction is not very useful. They have a point, at least up to a point. The distinction between professionals and amateurs can easily become useless, and it’s not hard to find examples, many of them involving money and/or success.'