I went to another excellent presentation by the Austin Photographic Society, last Thursday, at Precision Camera. For 8 years, Alex Suarez has masterfully curated speakers. Last month, noted professional photographer, Wyatt McSpadden. This month, amateur photographer Steve Wampler gave live demos on portrait photography and lighting techniques.
I included the adjectives “professional” and “amateur” to make a point — it’s a designation you hear a lot in photography and many traditionally creative and playful occupations. You have professional photographers and professional baseball players but have you ever heard of professional doctors and professional lawyers?
I contend that the titles, professional and amateur, have very little to do with the quality of photography. It’s merely a designation of how one makes a living. In fact, the beauty of an amateur is that they have the freedom to concentrate on just photography. They don’t have to worry about running a business or taking on jobs where the creative output is dictated by clients.
I’m a passionate amateur and so is Steve Wampler. I actually assisted for Steve, a while ago, when I experimented with portrait photography. Since then, our photographic interests have diverged. Steve still concentrates on fashion and portraits while I shoot urban landscapes and street. We both love photography. We just happen to make a living without using cameras.
That Thursday was a photographic triple header. I started with this Austin Photographic Society meeting, then I headed downtown for Drink and Click, a photography meetup. Finally, I shot street photography at the Formula 1 Fan Fest.
All for the passion.
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