Austin Photographic Society, Steve Wampler and the passion of amateurs

Steve Wampler Demo at Austin Photographic Society - Austin, Texas

Steve Wampler Demo at Austin Photographic Society – Austin, Texas

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 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 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.

Steve Wampler Demo at Austin Photographic Society - Austin, Texas

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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