Thursday, November 5, 2009

Am I or Am I Not

I have been wrestling with something for days, weeks maybe, and today I came face to face with the reality of it. A neighbor, who I don't know very well, was in the gallery this afternoon. She looked surprised to see me when she walked through the door and stated that she didn't know I was a painter. I quickly corrected her. No, I'm not a painter. (Paint by numbers maybe or finger painting with Allie, but not the real deal, unless you count house painting. But I digress.) I'm a photographer. "Well the things you don't know about your neighbors" she replied. "I didn't know you were a professional photographer." Gasp, gulp, sputter and disintegrate into a tongue tied moron. My gut reaction to that statement is NO. NO, NO, NO. I have a little hobby and I'm getting pretty good at it, but a professional? Definitely not.

So the question is am I or am I not a professional photographer? By definition, or at least my understanding of the definition, a professional photographer is one who makes his/her primary income from the business. If that is true, I just might qualify. I do not have any other source of income and I did sell three photographs last week.

But my idea of a professional photographer is one who has years of experience, knowledge of the art that would fill a museum, and one who makes a profitable income to boot. In those terms I don't qualify. I have roughly ten years experience and my knowledge could fill a room or two in that museum but, I do not make a living from photography.

And so it goes, round and round in my head like the little ball on a roulette wheel, am I or am I not a professional photographer? They are words I just can't utter at this point in time. Maybe in a year or two, or forty. Until then I'll just consider myself a minor leaguer, waiting to be called up to the majors.


Anonymous said...

If you think of yourself in a certain way, that sets the stage for achieving that goal. I still need to work on the Next Step lingo, I'm afraid, so I can make sense when I say something.

You're doing great! -k-

Amy said...

Aunt Sue you are crazy!!! You are in my book at least a professional, you take some of the best pictures that some people have ever seen. I can not tell you the number of compliments I still get on our wedding photos, and they want to know where they can go or call to hire you. Also I gave this web site to a friend of mine who I work with, who also love photography and she was spell bound by your pictures, and hopes to be able to take photos like you some day. She has been at it for 6 years. Don't sell yourself short, you are and always will be the best in my book!!!!! Love you Amy

Life in Color said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence Amy and K, I think you are right on with your thoughts. Perhaps I SHOULD have gone to Next Step with you!!

Terri said...

Isn't it funny how you don't think of yourself as achieving as much as you have...and obviously others (even neighbors who didn't know!) recognize your abilities and your "profession!" Whether or not you see yourself that way...I think your work speaks for itself...wonderful and professional!

Audrey said...

I couldn't agree more with what Terry said! We are always our own worst critic. Accept the accolades - and the sales(!) - and keep on truckin' never know where the road will lead.