Being (or Not Being) a Photographer
For years, I was an engineer that wanted to be a writer, which means … wishing I was a writer instead. This in spite of the fact that one of the skills my employers always valued was my ability to write about the complex systems we were developing. So, I bought books on writing. I took classes and got a certificate in creative writing. I published a short story. I wrote an (unpublished) novel. I started this and several other blogs. But I didn’t become a writer in my own mind until I said, I am a writer. I still sometimes feel that I have to say it’s my avocation, not my vocation. Old habits die hard.
I have a similar issue with being an artist and in particular with Being (or Not Being) a Photographer. I have a nephew, Bryan, who has studied photography and posts beautiful pictures on Facebook, as well as on his website. He is trying to make a go of it as a professional photographer. He probably knows more about cameras, composition and things like depth of field than I will ever know. I use a camera that makes most decisions for me and my work depends on eye for interesting scenes and what I believe is a natural sense of composition. So, am I a photographer? Am I a photographer if I say it’s an avocation?**
On Tuesdays, at least for the time being, I am since I post one of my photos. This one was taken a the Piazza del Duomo in Pisa, Italy, home of the famous leaning tower. Not being a traveler or a history buff, I expected the tower to stand alone in the middle of a large square, not be part of a magnificent cathedral and baptistery. I snapped this shot of the cathedral and tower against the bright blue sky filled with cumulus clouds. It is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.
** If you struggle with calling yourself an artist, there is no better place to address it than Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.