the Proto Photographer

If someone asks you if you’re a photographer … you say YES!

Amateur Photography

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[photo credit: Aaron Kaffen @]

Once enough of your friends have seen you lugging around your five pounds of camera equipment and watched you crouch artfully to get a most interesting picture of a most uninteresting thing, you’re bound to be asked by at least one of them if you’d be willing to take pictures of something for them. A “job”, if you will.

They’ll do this because, lacking any knowledge of photography, they assume that your D90 is a magic black box that craps out pretty pictures, and that your crouching pose is a practiced stance handed down from photographer to photographer for generations. This is, of course, completely untrue. But they hardly need to know.

You’ll have a moment of hesitation, after being asked to take on this “job”, when you consider that you’ve never done anything like what your friend has asked of you. Let it pass and just say “yes”.

This is your chance to experiment. These projects allow you to practice getting shots that you have to be able to get. They give you an excuse to rent equipment that you could never justify getting otherwise, and that you, quite frankly, have no idea how to use properly. They put you in a position to take yourself seriously and hold yourself to a higher standard.

And it’s okay when the pictures you take for your friend fall pathetically short of that standard, because any friend who would mistake you for a photographer is bound to mistake your work for photography.