Being an amateur photographer doesn’t mean that the quality of your photography should be less. It is no excuse for poor photos. The amateur photographer doesn’t make a living from photography (of course, there are quite a few ‘professional photographers’ that don’t make a living, but, that’s another story for another time). Being an amateur doesn’t give us permission to be any less dedicated to photography.
This is how most photographers start. For many, photography as a “passion” is fun; while photography to ‘pay the bills’ is something else entirely (the ‘professional photographers’ mentioned earlier unexpectedly find this out too late). For most, knowing where we should start in photography is difficult. We all are introduced to photography from different perspectives, situations and experiences. While we share a common “passion” for photography, how we live that “passion” varies dramatically.
To the professional photographer starting out, my suggestion is to simply begin shooting. I am not a big fan of formal photography training. I’m not against it, just not a big fan. One of the reasons is that formal photography training teaches to a set of standards that are measured in “art” terms. Formal photography teaches and promotes standards of art. My experience is that successful photography standards are very different from the “art” standards of photography. Successful photography can be defined as photography that is ‘liked’ by the most people.
In the end, people buy photography that they ‘like,’ not what is great by “art” standards. Successful photography and art photography are different. Knowing that there is a difference releases the beginning photographer from the restrictive rules of “someone else’s” photography.