The Calling

As the season change.

Staying True.

I’m having a conversation with some Photoshelter folks about the so-called Photographers Bill of Rights via a comment section. Most of it concerns photojournalism. That’s where my career started. That’s where my heart lies.

I read the entire document. If I’m going to talk about it, I should read it. That’s only fair. I have questions.

Let’s start with this one.

Why is a portrait photographer — a good one — telling photojournalists how to be? This is the same guy who wants working photographers to seek permission before we photograph someone on the street or at an event like a protest.

I’d like to know if he’s ever worked on the streets. He has no idea what that world is like.

Then, there is the term that the authors want to use for us. “Lens Based Workers.”

Oh really?

They claim that they want to be all inclusive. They want the term to be about photographers, videographers, picture editors, and so on.

Great !

I like inclusiveness. But, why such a low end blue collar name? Most of us attended universities. We are, at the very least, professionals.

Some of us have more advanced degrees like a Master of Science, or even a doctorate. That would be me. Laskowitz, PhD. I don’t use my title very much because my work has nothing to do with my degree.

You don’t get to call me a “lens based worker.”

If you push me, I’m going to insist that you call me, Dr. Laskowitz. Nobody wants that. Least of all me.

At the end of the day, I see this as an attempt to quantify what most of us in my generation have known for most of our lives. I don’t want that. I bet the young men and women won’t either.

I learned how to be a photojournalist/photographer from those who came before me. My elders. I’m willing to be a young photographer’s elder. Mentor. Guru. All they have to do is ask.

Just don’t call me an old white colonialist.

You have no idea what I think. As little as I know about my heritage, I know this. It’s very likely that my grandfather was a kind of serf. He left because Communism was raising its ugly head. He wanted to be free. Just like me.

What kind of colonialist is that? White? I’m sorry (not sorry). I was born this way. Old? I hope the writers of the document get to be old. Like me.

I had to think about why I take offense at the so-called bill of rights. The headline says it all. What I do is my calling. My work is what I was given to do. If I’m any good at all, it’s because I worked hard, listened to my elders and took a few chances.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Enjoy your own photographs.



15 responses to “The Calling”

  1. rothpoetry Avatar

    I hear your angst! I find the age of political correctness such a deterrent to creativity. As for asking before taking photos in public…. Duh! What in the world are they thinking. Sounds like they are trying to shut down what is really going on around us… Well I must stop or I will get carried away!! Love the photo… very interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      Thank you. I’m not really angry or upset. I believe in myself, at least when it comes to pictures. This is part and parcel to what students try to do on university campuses when they protest, get photographed and then declare that the whole campus should be a safe space. Now you got me started. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rothpoetry Avatar

        I Know!! …..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

        You know the joke. When something happens to you and a body part breaks down, the rest of the parts say, “that’s nothing, wait until you see this.”

        Liked by 1 person

      3. rothpoetry Avatar

        That is a good one!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. fieldmouse77 Avatar

    Great post. If = Equality = Subservience, how woke is that? lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. T Ibara Photo Avatar

    Hello Mr. Ray,
    I may not be as “old” and experiences as you, but I agree wholeheartedly.
    I hope you and your dear ones continue to stay safe.


    1. T Ibara Photo Avatar

      Apologies, I meant to write “I may not be as ‘old’ not certainly not as experienced as you” …. Ah, English… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

        No apologies needed. I know that I’m old. That’s why I am willing to teach. It’s time to pass on whatever I’ve learned in my 125 years of taking pictures. Heh!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. sloppy buddhist Avatar

    I am settler 🤓 always lovely and thoughtful narrative Dr. Ray ~ smiles and


    1. sloppy buddhist Avatar

      joy your way 💫 it’s windy it will arrive fast ☀️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

        I just love how WordPress won’t let you back out when you make a mistake. This is the time of year when we don’t want wind. 🙂 A hurricane would just about top 2020 with a pandemic sitting on our heads. Boy, I really dislike using that title.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. sloppy buddhist Avatar

        No not that kind of wind I mean a summer…only good things Ray. Big hugs 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

        So, like Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind.” For me, that song has always been about baseball… sitting in the stands with baseball food and beer. 🙂


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