Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/26

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Elitism and the PRO
From: (Ted Grant)
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 07:26:28 +0100

((Sorry folks I don't usually repeat a complete previuos posting, but in
this case it's necessary))

Alex wrote:   (my response follows)

>It's such a shame that the term 'amateur' has been so devalued.
>Last year Amateur Photographer in the UK gave Eve Arnold a lifetime
>achievement award or something like that.
>She collected her award saying what a privilege it was to receive it from
>that particular magazine because in the true sense of the word she had
>always been an amateur - a lover of  photography.
>All of us on this list are true amateurs whether we make money out of
>photography or not.
>I've come across so many 'professionals' for whom photography is just a
>means . There are two agencies in my building who chase the royal family and
>other unimportant people around. As long as they make sales I doubt that
>they care much about the culture of photography - no copies of  'Pictures On
>A Page' on their shelves. I just happen to make (highly variable) money out
>of photography, it's the way things turned out. But through the years I have
>come to love the medium and it's history as my window on the world. This
>enthusiasm is absolutely vital to me, it stops what I do from turning into a
>job - even if I'm photographing dogfood I'm still doing something I love,
>and I do well to remember that when I'm totally bored in my studio looking
>at training shoes all day. (Luckily it's often a lot more interesting than
>Anyway, photography is a far better vocation than it is a job, it has always
>been an exploitation industry, some of us just can't do anything else - it's
>a long road there's no turning back!
>Alex (never went to law school) Brattell>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Alex and LUGNUTS,

I feel exactly the same way... it has never been work!!!!  Physically
demanding,  yes!  Work never!  WORK is moving concrete blocks!!!! :)

It is passion, fun, excitment, being paid to do what others pay great
amounts of money to do --- travel, joy, disappointment and every other
emotion one can experience. But! :)

It is the enthusiasm and euphoria of just taking pictures! :) What a
wonderful past time or profession!  It is the belly squiggles one gets when
handling a newly acquired Leica or other bits and pieces.

I bet most of the folks on the LUG are amateurs at heart, some of us wear
our "amateur enthusiasm" on our sleeves even though we may have been doing
picture taking for many years earning our keep.

I feel sorry for  the "camera manipulators" who do it for "money only"
without the constant fun that most of us enjoy. Quite frankly, if I didn't
love what I do, "Why would I do it?"

An amateur at heart and soul,