I've been using the term make a photograph for a little bit now. To most people this sounds a little ridiculous, But it made alot more sense to me lately. Now that i've fully immersed myself into the world of film photography. I've even gone completely film for all of my personal work. I'm still currently working that into my professional work, but Alas sometimes other jobs require a faster turn around time than film will provide.
What if we differentiate a snap shot and photograph first? Where better to start than to break them down individually.
Snapshot - First and foremost is the intent of the image. Typically a snapshot does not have any type of preconception. When i look at certain photographs i've made with say friends at the bowling alley or just hanging out, i take a photo out of reaction. No preparation needs to be done in order to take a snapshot.
Photograph - So much can go into a photograph, Possibly even years before a photograph has even been made. What i mean by this is a photographer goes through years of preparation to make a proper photograph. There are years of practice and understanding of basic technical photography. Then there is studying of what made past photographs so great. Once all of this has been mastered, it becomes easily applicable to make photographs even in an instance.
Now that we have it somewhere differentiated we can dig a little bit deeper about making a photograph. All the training that goes into it often goes unseen. Let's take an athlete for example. Yes talent is necessary, but talent without training means nothing when its time to apply that professionally. We don't normally see the hours of practice or gym time athletes put in. The same goes for any artist really. Talent can go a long way. A good eye can get you far, but what makes a photograph good to being great? A lot of practice and discipline.
How much practice and discipline you say? Well that's hard to say cause it could be different from person to person. How did i do it? I typically learn quite a bit by just doing it. I read alot ,I read blogs, watched videos, studied(still studying) the greats. Ultimately though i learn the best by applying everything i read to actually doing it. Took A LOT of snapshots before i started considering them some what of a photograph.
Now that we have the philosophy of a photograph prior to click the shutter. There is still more that goes into a photograph after the image it self is made. If you're a film photographer, there is developing. What chemicals to use, what times to develop at if you're using Black and white film. There are so many variables to developing film and what kind of film you use that its too much to list in this blog. Same goes for digital though, you have a few editing programs to use. You also have a bajillion ways to edit an image to make it into your vision. Then we have the final product which to me is still and always will be a physical print.
So thats the short version of how i conceptualize most of my photographs. I typically shoot with an aim to print my work. The example print above is my personal preference for convenience. I am currently looking into more dark room printing for some black and white images, but that's a whole topic on its own.