I am an amateur photographer in the traditional sense of the word. That is, I do it for the love of the craft. I've been at it for over 40 years, since my grandparents got me a plastic 120-roll film camera for Christmas when I was six. I went crazy with it, snapping photos of everything and everyone until my sister threatened to beat me with it. When I finished the roll of film, I sat down and opened the back to see my pictures. Imagine my shock after my grandfather gently explained what I'd just done. I cried for quite a while afterward. (I'm not sure I've ever actually recovered from it.)
Today, I shoot with a digital camera and several very good lenses, and now I can simply look at the back of the camera to see my images. But I still get the same feeling of anticipation that my six-year-old self did when I look to see if I've gotten what I hoped for.
I'm also the author of Close to Home: Finding Great Photographs in Your Own Back Yard, and Shoot + Share: Getting Your Photographs Out Into the World, both available at Craft & Vision.