Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Definitions: What I mean by "Casual Photographer", "Non-photographer" and "Enthusiastic Amateur"

Casual Photographer

This is someone who enjoys making photographs of a few particular types of things that interest them such as their children, the places they go on vacation or their hobbies, but don't particularly want to invest a lot of time in photography for its own sake. They may be interested in investing modest amounts of time and money into improving their photography so that their picture look better and the act of making them is less frustrating, but not becoming obsessed with it.

Non-photographer

I personally consider any person who has ever taken even one photograph to be a photographer. But many people start out any conversation about photography: "Well, I'm not a photographer..." So the advice tagged with this term is for them.

These may be people who are not really interested in learning anything about photography, they may find the actual process of taking photographs to be frustrating or unpleasant but feel pressure from relatives to share at least a few snapshots of their children. Or perhaps they need to take pictures for their job.

I believe that it is possible for those people to make or have access to photographs which satisfy their needs even if they do not want to learn anything about photography. So some of my posts will be directed towards helping them.

The fact that you are not interested in learning more about photography or investing large amounts of time and money in it does not mean that you should not be able to have decent photographs of your family and the things that you care about.

One of the wonderful things about photography is that there are as many ways of enjoying it as there are people in the world.

And if you enjoy the end result of looking at photos but not the act of creating them, I will have advice for you here on how you can get more out of photography with as little investment of time and money possible. Just click on the category "non-photographer" or search on that term in the search box to see articles written for you.

Enthusiastic Amateur

This is the category I see myself in. "Amateur Photographer" is such a broad category that it is difficult to to direct advice to that whole group. The term "amateur" has also gotten a bad rap in the past few decades. Its original meaning was a person who does something simply for the love of doing it and I want to reclaim that meaning here.

But there is a subset of that group who are truly enthusiastic in their love of photography. They enjoy photography just for its own sake. They enjoy making photographs even if they do not have any particular subject they need to depict. They enjoy learning about and exploring many different aspects of photography and desire to increase their knowledge of all things photographic throughout their whole life.

Although some of these enthusiastic amateurs may at some point decide to become professional photographers and some may just fall into a circumstance where they start making money from some of their photographs, my remarks here will be directed towards them purely as amateurs, not as prospective professionals, as I believe that those groups have very different needs and one of my main goals here is to address the needs of amateurs that are different from professionals or prospective professionals.

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