It’s no secret that I’m a contrarian in many ways.
I’m an amateur photographer. And, I’m good at it. Not great, but good. I know a lot of photographers who are at all levels of skill and accomplishment. Many of them are in a totally different place with their photography than me. I do it because I love it and I find it relaxing. It’s totally different from what I do to make money, even though skills from my professional life compliment my hobby. But, I have met a lot of amateur photographers who would really like to be professionals.
Personally, I think it’s better to stay amateur. People don’t think that shift from hobby to profession through very well most of the time. There are all kinds of things that change when you start doing things professionally. For one thing, you have to collect money. It sounds fun until you have to actually do it, especially when someone doesn’t, or suddenly can’t, pay. Trust me. And, when it’s something like photography, well, sometimes, you just have got to get the shot, no matter how dangerous it is!
Think I’m kidding? Then just feast your eyes on this little “Reality Check” from The Photo Society. Click that link and see actual dangers, faced and mostly survived, by National Geographic Photographers! Burns and acid-dripping caves? Broken bones and tear gas? No, thanks! And, those aren’t even the worst! Flesh eating parasites?!? And, worst of all, I think, is the dreaded “penis fish”! Yikes! I think I’ll keep my amateur status, thanks!
Also, on the same site, for those of you who are good enough, or already semi-professional, they offer some advice about how to respond to requests for free photography work you might get. In fact, they suggest that you just go ahead and link right to that article. So do I. It’s not quite as good as what Harlan Ellison had to say about people asking for free work from him, but, it’s pretty close. (Note that he does get a little loud and may use some slightly colorful language, so watch your volume at work.)
So, there you are, dear readers. Some fun things to think about over the weekend while, hopefully, you pursue your hobby and not your profession!