I’ve long considered myself a shamateur photographer. While I can reliably produce shots from horse shows that are marketable (in my opinion), portraits and other types are photography are a whole different ball game.
I discovered a long time ago that if I wanted to get good enough to offer services as a serious professional, I needed to invest a ton of money into better equipment and countless hours into practice. When you think about doing that but see teenagers with parents their parents gave them offering photoshoots for free and selling show pictures for $5 a pop, it takes the wind out of your sails a bit. At least it did for me.
While I know that stellar photos stand above the cheaper riff raff and the educated consumer is willing to pay for the difference, I also know that most consumers are not educated and are driven by dollars. They’re okay with the cheaper and the lesser. So I decided to be as well, and never pushed myself up to the next level in equine photography but instead hung up my hat and stopped charging for photos.
Then I drag my little Canon 60D and bargain basement lenses out to the barn and do my best.
Of course like the teenagers with their new DSLR’s, I can’t replicate the photos the pros take with their full frame beasts and hours of practice. I get frustrated when I miss a moment because my focus is too soft or when I can’t quite get the color balance I want in post processing.
But I love when I catch something that surprises me.
I love when I send photos to someone, and they get really excited over the results.
I love taking photos of horses, because it’s equine Pokemon to me. Gotta catch them all! Each horse I take pictures of burns a little spot in my brain, and in some way — it’s mine now.
So I’ll keep my shamateur photographer card intact. Decent equipment, but not quite there. A pretty good eye, but shooting from the hip in terms of technique.
I try to nail more shots than I miss. It’s a lot like life that way.