It has been widely debated whether photography is an art form, a simple job, a wannabe medium among the other arts or, a distinct form of communication.
There is of course no straight answer to this and it all depends on what kind of photography you refer to and where you live.
Nevertheless, photography can be almost anything you want it to be. It can be an individual and powerful art form and thankfully, there is no shortage of amazing examples in its history. It can also be a powerful way to reach people, to let them know how things are on the other side of the planet and that not everyone is enjoying the gifts we do every day. It's a way of portraying the beauty around us and it's also a way of creating something beautiful from scratch.
But at the end of the day, photography is a job. Some people are salesmen, managers, marketing experts dentists or software engineers. Others are photographers.
It's a job globally recognized, it has a clear description and it also included a lot of niches and specialties.
With that said, photographers go to work in very different environments. Some never leave the studio and have beautiful models walking in front of their cameras every day. Others travel to the most distant to the faraway places of our planet to capture the blossoming of a cheery tree. Some are always near a sporting event ( those girls are highly active now with the World Cup going on right now) and some put their lives at danger to bring us the news.
Some have dream like working conditions with everything a good life has to offer, others eat canned food for weeks without changing their clothes. It all has to do with who you are and what you stand for at the end of day.
There are some pretty major differnces between being a photographer and working in a multinational company for instance. First of all, 99% of photographers will say it's a lot more fun. A great number of those will also state that it is a lot less secure, financially speaking.
It's also very true that photographers have to listen to their bosses and please their clients but so do Wal-Mart employees.. Photographers often have to create beautiful things, but so do cake bakers and florists. So photography is a job like any other, right?
Not really. We are in the business of capturing the moment. We often have little or no control over what we capture and some of us put our lives in risky situations similar to those experienced by firemen and army personnel. We don't ask for credit, all we want is for our photos to make a difference.
I'm not trying to build a virtual statue for the modern photographer. As glorious and proud as everything I have written sounds, it's still a job. You need tools for it, experience, and a lot of hard work. Oh, and you need people. The more the merrier, because if you're not in the business of photographing them, you sure need some to value your work.
Photography has a lot of bright days ahead, as a job, an art form and social tool. Ansel Adams and Cartier Bresson would have probably liked it too.