A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.
Can the same be said about professional photographers? They were amateurs who just didn’t quit?
One of the most welcome outcomes of this blogging assignment has been the discovery of so many amazing photographers all over the world and their incredible photos. Every day my Instagram feed is full of striking shots from every corner of the globe. Increasing my exposure to the technical aspects of photography has uncovered so many people who spend their whole lives devoted to photography and the results are simply breathtaking.
How does one get there? What makes them decide to devote themselves entirely to the pursuit of photography?
And how does one decide on what kind of photography they want to specialize in? For there are as many niche segments of photography as there are camera models. How many come to mind – wedding, fashion, portrait, travel, wildlife, sports, food, architecture … the list goes on.
And yes, just as it is elsewhere, what you plan to specialize in may not be where you end up. But that’s just life.
Going back to photography as an entire field – how do people pick it for their life? One could probably argue is chose them?
“I don’t have two lives,” Annie Leibovitz writes in the Introduction to this collection of her work from 1990 to 2005. “This is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it.”
Image by Robert Scoble from Half Moon Bay, USA – Annie Leibovitz at her SF exhibition
As Yousuf Karsh wrote of his own work in Karsh Portfolio in 1967, “Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can.
Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia
Clearly, these artists were inspired right from the start – it was never a question of whether to turn to photography, it was just when.
One of the artists I’ve had the pleasure of discovering through this assignment – Richard Bernabe – writes of his journey to professional photographer by pursuing “an inspired, passion driven life” instead of staying on the successful corporate path he was on. Finding one’s passion and then pursuing it is a challenge many of us never manage – at least not both steps.
From what I’ve learned so far about photography, it’s a hobby that serves everyone who seeks to embrace it – hobbyist, amateurs, professionals. Professional photographers I’ve had the pleasure of learning from at GTA Photography are enthusiastic, energizing ambassadors for what it can bring to our lives.
Many of us may never get beyond family photos and amazing vacation shots shared afterwards and then shelved. But that’s ok. Photography meets us where we want to be.
Are you where you want to be with your photography?