Nearly twenty-three years into a professional career, every work day still feels like the first. Each morning begins with a healthy mix of fear and excitement that motivates me to be better than competent. Pride in the work makes up for the meager compensation that rarely seems commensurate with the time invested. Being professional means that the work never ends.
So, as I sit here hammering out these thoughts on Thanksgiving day, my professional obligations continue to cloud the mind. Since this is a photo blog, you'd be forgiven for assuming that I am referring to photography, however this could not be further from the truth. I am veteran educator; an Advance Placement Biology teacher that spends countless hours studying texts, preparing labs and grading papers. This is the profession that clouds my thoughts and creeps into dreams that often descend into nightmares.
So it is with this twenty-three year history in education that I celebrate being an amateur photographer. With no anxiety about making a buck, finding a client or publishing my work, I am free to express myself through my vision. The lack oversight is liberating and encourages experimentation and risks that a professional might otherwise find difficult to take. Having no reputation to protect, we amateurs are free to escape predefined boundaries and explore the unexplored. We can set goals for image-making that stretch the imagination without fearing financial repercussions that may stifle future creativity.
I am a professional teacher and amateur photographer; I wouldn’t have it any other way!
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