Pro or Am?

My profile says that I am “strictly an amateur photographer”, and for good reason.

Many amateur photographers would give their right arm to be able to turn professional, and I can certainly understand that. I have never harboured any such aspirations, though.

For a start, I don’t kid myself that I know nearly enough about the art (and certainly not the science) behind photography to commit my livelihood to it. My photography is instinctive. Sometimes it works better than others, but not often enough, or consistently enough (in my opinion) to be considered of a professional standard. Professionals in any discipline have to know EXACTLY what they’re doing. I can’t claim that, I’m afraid, although I’m always trying to learn and improve.

The other reason for preferring to remain an amateur is complete independence. He who pays the piper calls the tune. As an amateur, I can choose exactly what I photograph, when I photograph it, and how long I spend doing it. Professionals (unless you’re extremely lucky) are always at someone else’s beck and call. You photograph what they want you to shoot, and to an extent, how to shoot it. That would just drive me crazy.

So, I’ll remain a happy snapper and be content to be so.

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