defining ourselves

The longer I live the less inclined I am to define myself, either as a human being or as a photographer.  I’m even growing increasingly impatient with the term ‘photographer’.  Human being will do.

I’ve done many things and called myself many things over the years — nature photographer, wilderness photographer, artist, printer, writer, laborer… the list is endless — but none really define me. They’re just things I’ve done.

Definitions can be limiting. It’s easy to pigeonhole ourselves into a certain niche, but once there it can be difficult to pry ourselves loose from it. More often than not we’re defined by the kind of work we do. Upon meeting someone, invariably one of the first questions asked is “so what do you do?” We answer with what we do for a living, and bingo — we’re categorized. We’re neatly catalogued and pigeonholed.  That’s that, and all too often we accept that as being what we are.

When asked anymore I usually reply that I’m a seer. That’s usually good for a puzzled look, but it kills the question in it’s tracks. I see things. Not in a psychic or clairvoyant sense, but simply as a person who sees. I see the everyday and mundane. I see the interesting and exciting. I see the things many of us pass by everyday without even noticing. I see the beauty in the wilds and I see the artistry in peeling paint and rusting iron. And when moved to do so, I trip the shutter on my camera and pass along what I see. I’m a seer, that’s all, and that’s good enough for me.

Any thoughts on defining yourselves? Have at it…

2 thoughts on “defining ourselves

  1. Thanks Doc. Guess that’s kind of my point here. We can label ourselves any way we want, but no single definition is really apt.

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