This is my statement and here is why.
I am talking to the photographers who call themselves a hobby photographer.
And yes I am calling you out. Have you ever thought about why you want to do photography?
What is it that photography draws to you. Have you ever defined it for yourself?
The internet is full of how to do this or what camera to buy this year and nobody seems to talk about personal meaning and the greater good of photography.
You see photography is not a hobby, at least that is not the way I see it. “It is a way of living”- Henri Cartier Bresson.
A conscious choice to add it to your arsenal of communication skills. It is a tool that is an extension of your body, mind, and soul.
And if people want a piece of that they have to pay or compensate for it, because you have invested your time to learn the craft.
Even if you do think it is a hobby because when you decided it to be one, you are not planning to help anybody with it when they ask for your purposes. Do you say: I don’t want any compensation for it, because I do this for fun?
At the same time, if people pay you. Do you know what they buy from you in the terms and conditions you set? Of course not, they are clients and clients have expectations, whether they are met or not..and at the moment you are being paid you are by definition not a hobbyist anymore, you are a professional who gets paid or compensated for their services.
Or at least an amateur level photographer, but you are not doing a hobby. You are learning a craft and skill with an intention, besides the price you pay yourself is with the most valuable resource there is, and that is your time. Spending that on a hobby is diminishing the craft to the equivalent of putting it down the drain because it serves no purpose other than to make you feel better about yourself doing it. I am not saying there is something wrong with that, I am just saying that calling it a hobby is a time-waster.
It is about the perspective you have on it. The goals should be of value to you, others, or your work. It can be a tool that helps you with your work and then you get compensated. If I write this post that you read right now, do you think I see myself as a hobbyist writer?
It still is a craft right? There are a goal and intention behind it. To reach something and to communicate something, to touch someone. If I saw this as a hobby, you wouldn’t read this, because then I do not need to post it.
The purpose would be different.
I would even argue with you that never posting would make you unable to get any better at it, because I think there is a form of self-communication what you put out there. I am an artist who hates people to see my work while I am still in the process. And a lot of my work is unseen. But when I post, it is my best self-communication I let you see, because my identity is in there.
Of course people can criticize my work and I believe in the freedom of that and the vulnerability. I just don’t believe in growth without publishing and calling it a hobby to diminish yourself that you aren’t any good. At the very minimum you are your own client and then you are at least taking yourself seriously and put growth there as a value.
So when photography has value for you, there is a goal behind the fact you are practicing the craft. In that note photography is not a hobby anymore when it is served a purpose.
Do you agree or disagree?