We all remember standing in front of a camera with someone saying, "Say Cheez". I have fond memories of those days. You would think my interest in photography would have started there, but it didn't. It starting when I was in college, during the film days. I purchased a Pentax K1000 SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera in 1983 while taking a photography class at North Carolina Central University.
Back then, I'd snap my photo and send it to the lab for processing. Sometimes, it would take days or weeks before I shot up a roll of film because of the expense of buying film and having it developed. I learned then the value of composing a picture. I also learned how to develop black and white film in the university's dark room. Unfortunately, my camera equipment was stolen and it would be years before I purchased a camera again. In the late nineties, I entered the world of digital photography with a Kodak point and shoot. Even then I did portrait work. I did portraits for the local Boys and Girls Clubs as well as for a local church. Like many folks I found myself chasing megapixels in an attempt to produce better photos. I wasn't until I reentered the digital SLR world of photography that I got my "mo jo" back.
Photography is more than just good camera equipment. Photography is a study in light, composition and art. It encompasses both the science of exposures and the art of creativity. What separates a good photographer from a person with an Iphone is the ability to make a photograph rather than snapping a picture. Many good photographers can make a photograph with an Iphone, but few people, even with professional camera equipment, can take a good picture. Sure, anyone can press the shutter button while in automatic mode, but not everyone will consider the effects of lighting, background, and other compositional elements. Such a body of knowledge comes with study and practice and experience.
Most good picture are not taken, they are made. Landscape photographers may plan months for a particular scenic shoot. Portrait photographers are usually obsessed with lighting and photojournalist have to emphasize composition to tell a story on a high school level. So to sum up, Yes! Anyone can take a picture, but everyone can't make a good picture.