a11 December 2012

Thoughts: Being an amateur means... worse?

I took this long exposure photo during sunrise on Fuerteventura island.
Yes, I'm an amateur photographer and I'm happy about that. For many people being a good photographer requires being a professional. You need to behave like a pro (and talk all that buzzwords some of which I don't really understand), have the best pro equipment and so on. It makes you better in their eyes. Ok, I do use nice equipment but I'm not buying a new camera because of it's pro features. I buy one when I feel that current model used by me stops me from taking certain shots.

All this is because amateur for many means lacking skills or knowledge. But in fact it doesn't need to be that way. Professional might also mean photographer who actually works as a photographer.

For me photography is a hobby, passion maybe. I really like capturing moments and presenting them to the wider audience over the web (or in any other form). Do I have skills? Well, I don't think I'm the right person to answer this question, I'll let you judge. But I definitely do have some knowledge and especially the need to improve my works. Every time I take a photo I learn something new. I make mistakes but next time I will be stronger because I will know how to avoid them.

For me photography is also a way to express myself. It means much to me as I can show others the way I see the world, how I perceive different things, phenomena etc. Being a technical person most of the time (I'm computer programmer for more than 15 years now... despite being 25 :) ) I really feel the need to show the others different part of my nature. Programmers are often considered geeks but I try to prove this wrong: one way of doing so is photography. You can be technical and artistic person at the same time. Nothing strange or wrong with that.

Moreover, I don't want photography to became my profession because I'm pretty sure I would soon become tired with it and therefore loose passion and drive to find something new in it. It was the same thing with video game development for me. I was really passionate about it up to the moment when I started creating video games for a living. And I soon became tired and fed up with them. One more thing about work (profession) is that if you spend several hours a day on your assignments you won't have much free time for your personal projects. And in photography I don't want to have no time for my own ideas. I love shooting photos in my own way, choosing my subjects and destinations on my own. I love full control over what I do and how I do it. Even if you own a company you don't have such control because it is the market and customer's needs that control it then.

Finally for me being amateur doesn't mean being worse than professional (but it doesn't mean better either). In fact one of the definitions of the amateur word is following:

Amateur - a person who is fond of or admires something

Yes, I am fond of photography and yes I do admire it. Given that definition, professional photographer can be amateur at the same time. In fact he should be to create stunning works. Otherwise being a professional would just mean working as a photographer what isn't the same as great photographer.

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