Being a commercial photographer means that I have to apply my skills, tools, experience, perspective and viewpoint, gained through years of dedication to my craft, to a subject or situation that isn't necessarily of my choosing. So, since I don't get to choose my subjects or overall message, can I truly be considered an artist? I've asked myself that a lot over the last few years and here is the best I've come up with:
Was Leonardo Da Vinci an artist? Bear with me for a second. I'm NOT comparing myself to Master Leonardo. But consider, most of his greatest works were commissions from rich patrons or the ruling class. He was asked to solve problems, or design to a theme, or paint a specific subject and he did so, brilliantly. The same can be said for other great artists like Michaelangelo (I'll stop naming Ninja Turtles now) or Mozart or Shakespeare. They painted, composed and wrote for their audience and took requests often where they were given the subject and then they elevated it to art.
...I strive to show the emotion, capture the beauty and find the magic in the moments or faces or scenes of whatever is in front of my lens.
So, I'll keep working my corner, proudly and happily making art and a living. Thanks to all of my clients who help me live this life!