I’m part of a few photography groups on some social media sights. I’ll admit I don’t really participate much. Maybe I’ll comment here and there and post my work every once in a blue moon, but for the most part I just observe. Some of the groups are for more advanced photographers and others are for beginners and/or hobbyists.
One thing I’ve noticed from looking at these groups is a lack of concept. While I think it’s ok to sometimes stop and shoot a beautiful sunset, I also think it can be very overdone. A lot of photographers have the technical side down (metering, composition, etc), but many are missing a concept, which is what ties everything together to make photography an art. I’m becoming more conscious of this myself and getting into lifestyle/fashion photography has my mind thinking of ways to tell stories through the editorials I shoot. Everything goes into it and plays a part. (Wardrobe, location, model, lighting, etc) you can have a beautiful model, but bad lighting. You can have awesome lighting and horrible wardrobe and on and on. Anything can ruin a shot if no thought is behind it.
You can teach anyone to shoot a backlit portrait, but does it serve a purpose? It should! I’m by no means an expert on this and am still learning to put together concepts more smoothly. I think we should all consider this before calling ourselves photographers as opposed to “picture takers.”