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When someone com­pli­ments me on my pho­tog­raphy by saying what a nice camera I have, I imme­di­ately reply in my head,

“It’s like telling me my stove makes good food.”

I bristle when people say pho­tog­raphy is just being in the right place at the right time.

Many pho­tog­raphy snobs whine about Instagram and Twitter and iPhone cameras and the acces­si­bility of pho­tog­raphy to the world.

But I refuse to com­plain about the explosion of photo sharing sites and appli­ca­tions that make pho­tog­raphy every man’s hobby. I wouldn’t be a true pho­tog­rapher and lover of beauty if I did.

I am a pho­tog­rapher first and foremost because I love this world and the beauty around me.

I believe beauty exists in the little, everyday moments that are easily over­looked.

I can capture this with my camera, but so can others with their camera phones and Instagram feeds. Many of us don’t per­sonally care about the latte art that gets posted to Facebook, but a photographer’s image of a cup of coffee can bring a viewer to stop and look again.

The dif­ference between these, I believe, is an eye that only pho­tog­ra­phers have.

Few iPhone pho­tog­ra­phers claim to be the real deal. Even if they don’t rec­ognize it in them­selves, they probably love color or shapes or sym­metry and are drawn to recording it.

Those of us who claim to be real pho­tog­ra­phers can’t begrudge this of the world.

I want the world to see beauty — through my pho­tographs, and then even­tually through their own eyes that can learn to see every­thing around them.

Some­times, sharing beauty through pho­tographs is not about the quality of the pho­tographs, and it isn’t about the per­fection of the com­po­sition.

It is about cap­turing the sun­light coming through a window or the com­pli­mentary colors on a plate of food and sharing it so that others may learn to stop and see beauty.