When I received my BFA from the Columbus College of Art & Design, I had to process sheets of film, hang them to dry, and then make proofs. I would then sift through the images and choose carefully which image I would invite into the darkroom. Eight, ten, sometimes twelve hours later, I would sometimes have an image completed, printed in a series of ten. I could then put the negative to bed and move on to the next image.
I was fortunate to have had a style or direction that I wanted to move my images toward. I would introduce tissue or cellophane, I would shock and torment, argue and bicker with the image through out the whole process. Sometimes I would prevail and print the picture I had envisioned, and sometimes I had to sit quietly and listen to the story the image chose to tell. Sometimes I left the negative and never returned to it. Capturing images is easy, it often only requires the click of a button, but if I was going to bring life to an image, a life that would most likely outlast my own, I wanted to fall in love with the photograph.
I think anyone can be a photographer. I think everybody is a photographer. The talented ones though, are great editors. The truly great ones recognize the potential of a photo whether that image was their intention or not. They know when to invest time, and they know when to walk away.