I am a total hack who happens to enjoy capturing slices of time that will never exist again...
I am a technology consultant by day and unlike most people on these sites have no aspirations of becoming a "Professional Photographer"(all thanks to a bit of advice I received from a "Pro" almost 20 Years ago when I was first getting serious about photography).
We had been talking about techniques and equipment and things that we loved shooting for almost an hour when I asked him for any tips on going pro, he looked at me very seriously and said "Do you really love photography?" to which I eagerly and enthusiastically answered "More than anything!" (see I was still young and foolish enough to buy into my own BS back then). Upon my answer, I saw both a pain and a twinkle of hope in his eye when he looked at me and said, "Then never rely on it for a significant portion of your income. Once it becomes a job and you depend on it to live your life, it stops being magical and becomes something else entirely. Once you make that decision, the magic and the joy you get from it changes entirely." He also said he would never tell someone not to pursue a career doing what they love, he just knew from his experience and those of many others that love and money are not always the best bed fellows.
Back then it was a little crushing to hear that and it took a few years and lots of learning for me to truly understand what he was talking about. I now know that I would not enjoy making my living behind a camera because soon the camera would feel like a weight around my neck and the need to produce and earn from it would drive all of the joy out of it for me.
For now, I really do enjoy being a Hobbyist and because I travel frequently for work, I get to drag my gear along with me and take some pictures in some pretty cool places and I'll keep doing it for as long as I still get joy from it. You know that feeling you get when you start working a raw file in Lightroom and things just start to come together. That smile that slowly creeps across your face when the image on the screen matches the image you had in your head before you even pressed the shutter button?
Yeah.... that feeling.
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- Carson City, Nevada, United States