Professional or Hobbyist?

A few years ago, during a night out, I was introduced to a man in his early twenties that was the school acquaintance of a friend. During the general polite conversation that followed I asked him what he did for a living, to which he replied, “I’m a photographer.” I immediately found the subject interesting (I love photography) and started asking him lots of questions – what his main points of interest were, who he worked for, how he got into it – and after a few minutes it became evident that he wasn’t a photographer at all. In truth, he was a barman with a good camera who liked taking photographs. I was a little confused (and slightly insulted) by the fact that this man had ‘bent the truth’ in an attempt to appear more successful or creative – I’ve done plenty of bar work over the years and in my experience it is a physically and mentally exhausting job that requires lots of patience, particularly when dealing with drunken, aggressive members of the general public. It’s a shame that he felt that he had to hide a profession that he should have been very proud of. Continue reading

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