I call myself a professional photographer mostly because I get paid to take people's pictures. I don't claim to be the best photographer or to even know a lot about photography. I do claim though, to be responsible for my own photography. "What?" you say. If you were to go to my website (http://www.kathrynmcelvyphoto.com/), the pictures you see there are the pictures I took. There were no real changes made to these pictures. The only type of enhancements I do are just to pump up (or remove) existing color and maybe a little sharpening. If needed, I will remove a stray blemish or errant trash can in the background, but that's my limit.
Professional photography these days, and for that matter, amateur photography, has become SO much more than just having a talent for taking pictures or being a good photographer. In fact, I might go so far as to say that to be a successful photographer these days, you don't even have to be good at taking pictures or working a camera, as long as you are a wiz at Photoshop. I can fully admit that my own business as a photographer will most likely not be very successful as long as I remain Photoshop averse.
I can also admit that a lot of my aversion to Photoshop stems from the fact that I don't really know how to use it. I know how to do the simple, click this one button stuff, but if I have to get into layers and lassoing stuff, I shut down. Maybe my feelings on the subject would change if I was more adept at putting it into action, but I still think it takes away from the basic art of being able to take a good picture from the start. That's what I tell my clients. I tell them that I try to focus on doing a good job of taking the best picture in the beginning therefore eliminating any need for Photoshop in the first place. (did that sounds redundant? a run around sentence maybe?)
Back in the day, before digital, you had no choice. You had to know what you were doing. If you didn't you were screwed. The taking of the picture itself was an art form. Now, fixing the picture is an art form. And that's fine. I can completely accept photoshop as an art form. I am always amazed at the cool things people can do with photoshop. I jus think the 2 (photography and photoshop) should be separate. That's all I'm saying. If you've digitally altered a pic you took to the extent that it no longer looks like the original, then you should have to include some sort of disclaimer at the bottom.
Your average joe can look at a pic and think it is an awesome pic taken by an awesome photographer. When in reality, it just a good pic, by a decent photographer made awesome by an awesome photoshoper. I just want credit to go where credit is due.
Here are some pictures that I took. No alteration necessary.