Is photography a talent or acquired skill?

Last week, whilst chilling with some old time pals, we stumbled upon the topic of if photography was a talent or a skill? Each party had its reason but definitely I argued that photography was a talent, as have seen lots of people who learnt photography professionally but ain’t good as some self taught photographers.
So I decided to give an overview of the argument without biased opinions.

Precious Amuta for Peter Alawode Photography

What’s a skill?
According to an online resource, a skill is ” Capacity to do something well;technique, ability. Skills are usually acquired or learned, as opposed to abilities, which are often thought of as innate.”  so to be skilled in something, you need to acquire a form of learning in that field.

What is talent?
“A marked natural ability or skill” talent is seen to be a natural ability to do something well. You will notice that in both definitions, there is a reference to both. Skill mentions innate – meaning inborn, talent mentions ability. That brings me to the main point.

When I started out as a photographer, talent was all I had. I took my first picture for a client as a 13 year old. Sitting at my friends mum shop, all alone, where she’s runs a small studio and in came a client that wanted a few shots. I picked up the camera boldly, told her to strike a pose and the only thing I knew was the shutter button. Alas, the picture came out good. Fast forward 6 years, I’ve never been to any photography school, but my pictures are not your regular side kick. Why? Cos I acquired skills.

Oh yeah, no school attended but I schooled myself. How? Read books, downloaded videos, followed my mentor, Eric Kim, spent midnight hours on my laptop trying to discover new things, spent hours with my camera, trying to understand it.

Precious Amuta for Peter Alawode Photography

It’s without doubt that when you go deep into photography, you find out that you need to think beyond the box to get stunning images, now that’s pure talent. The skills will just let you understand the Physics of Photography, but talent will make your pictures a work of art. Look, anyone can pick up that camera and take a picture, but not everyone can understand how shutter Speed is relatively important to aperture. 😂:D;)

Yours Photographically,
Peter Alawode
“I am M.A.D with photography”


One thought on “Is photography a talent or acquired skill?

  1. Hmm… 70% talent and 30% skill… That defines me! Photography is what I really have passion for right from childhood and I just got a small camera of recent. Would you please be my teacher and put me through some things?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s