Well, all has been said and done. I have completed the DPC beginners course (some weeks ago actually, but life seems to have gotten in the way of late) and I assume I can officially call myself an amateur photographer. This, however, posed a perplexing question. What exactly is an "Amateur Photographer"? I mean besides the obvious fact that there are preciously few souls willing to part with hard earned cash in exchange for any of my photographs. Well, make that none actually. Mom does not count.
After deliberating with myself for some time, I had to come to the conclusion that this whole amateur thing is actually quite tricky. As a beginner, my motivation would simply be to be exposed to the basics and try learn as much as possible while attempting to churn out a few half decent pictures for evaluation. A professional photographer, while still learning every day, has a career and reputation as their motivation to keep pushing themselves.
This leaves us amateurs pretty much stuck in the middle. No longer as eager nor wide eyed at the prospect of learning to take a pretty good picture with their snazzy new camera, but also not photographically driven by having bills to pay. So, essentially then; where to from here?
Truth be told, I am not sure really. Although, based on the guidance form the guys at DPC, I do know and want to reinforce this:
Create and manage mini projects and challenges for yourself, and perhaps some opportunities will come your way if you keep an eye out. If you Google the subject, there are plenty ideas out there. I came across and interesting one where a chap with plenty of free time created a project for himself called 50/50/50. 50 pictures, with only a 50mm lens in only 50 days. Some interesting results ensued and it served as an inspiration for a few mini projects for me that I have started and will begin uploading for critique.
In conclusion then, as an amateur, it seems we have to be both master and slave to our hobbies. Both project managers and input resources to put it into my working terms. Keep putting yourself and your work out there and who knows, it may lead to interesting things.
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