Why It’s Ok If You’re Not A Technical Photographer

One type of photographer is not superior to the other.

Some people are more interested in the technical aspects of photography. Others are more interested in the creative aspects of photography.

Neither way of thinking is wrong. One type of photographer is not superior to the other. You are both taking beautiful photographs. That is all that matters. Art should not be a competition. It should be a collaboration.

If you feel the most alive when you are taking photographs, embrace your passion. You do not need to study reference books and sign up for expensive programs in order to learn about aperture, aspect ratio, depth of field, or exposure compensation.

You might have a natural eye for photography. You might not have to stop and think about how much negative space to leave in a photograph or which colors and textures you should mix together because you can just tell based on your gut feelings.

It’s okay if you’re not a technical photographer. It’s okay if you are self-taught. It’s okay if everything comes inherently to you. That means you are an artistic photographer. It means you see photography as a form of emotional expression. It means you want to set your own path, rebel against authority, and work independently without anyone giving you instructions on what do do (or what not to do).

Certain things that might drive a technical photographer crazy, like a photograph coming out slightly blurred, are perfectly fine with you as long as the photograph comes out looking pretty. You do not stress over the small stuff. You believe imperfect things can be beautiful, too.

Your work is based on your heart rather than your brain. That is why you might not be able to explain the exact reasons why you like a photograph you took or why you set it up in the way you did. You do not have a clinical explanation about focal length or the rule of thirds. You simply did what felt like the right thing at the time.

You should not let anyone shame you over your lack of technical knowledge about the field. There are some people who might look down on you for your methods. They might accuse you of being disorganized and impractical. They might act like you do not have the right to call yourself a real photographer — but do not let their insults convince you to give up on something you love. You should be proud of what stunning pictures you can take without the help of outside resources.

You do not have to research elaborate equipment and buy the most expensive camera on the market in order to be a successful photographer. You do not have to know the names of terms and techniques in order to unconsciously use them in your photographs. You do not have to learn the technical aspects of photography if you are happy taking pictures based on your instincts. The process does not matter. The final results matter.

It’s okay if you are not a technical photographer. You do not have to force yourself into a role you are uncomfortable playing. You do not have to turn your art into a complicated set of steps when you have been perfectly fine going with the flow.

All photographers are different. Some are going to spend years studying their field before they feel confident enough with a camera to show the rest of the world their work. Others will pick up a camera and have a natural knack for it.

You have to remember, art is not always about reading textbooks and articles on how to refine your techniques. Sometimes it’s about listening to your heart.