"Everyone Has to Start Somewhere"

    These are words that I have heard echoed by people all over the place for as long as I can remember.  It seems to be the most blasé phrase to ever be spoken to allow people to do whatever they want, however they want and to have no regards for the right way to do anything.  People think that just because we have to start as beginners that doing things wrong and not educating ourselves is acceptable.

    I fully understand that we have to start down our road to what we do as an amatuer, that isnt what bothers me.  What bothers me the most is that someone has some disposable income and goes out to buy art supplies, in this case a camera.  They learn how to turn it to auto, change a couple of settings, then click a shutter and bang you have a picture.  I then can only guess at what goes through their head next, “HEY!!! I can take photos, I took a good photo, I am a professional!”.

    As  mean as this seems to say there is a quote by Thomas Huxley that goes “If you left a hundred monkeys in front of a hundred typewriters for a hundred years eventually you’d manage to get a Shakespearean sonnet.“ which can then be translated for this purpose as “Give someone a camera, let them click 1,000 photos and eventually they will get just one good one.”  

    I don’t know how many times I have seen so called “Photographers” who have gone through this procedure and still called themselves “Professionals” , that is the part that bothers me the worst.  I would that someone wouldn’t take a health class in high school then all of a sudden think “Hey, I can perform surgery now”.  I know that photography and Art are not surgery but you can understand where I am coming from.

    I believe that before you are just considered a professional you need to have the credentials to do so.  There is nothing wrong with being an amatuer when you first start, “Everyone has to start somewhere”. If you want to be a professional then you need to learn the ropes, the right way to do things, which rules to follow and which rules can be bent or broken.

    I at one time was an amatuer and I had someone teach me what was right and wrong and now I am willing to teach what is right and wrong to those that are interested.  However if someone has no training, doesn’t want to be taught, and can not take constructive criticism then why should we consider them as professional or even anything more than amateur.  Those of us that are professionals at our form of Art have all started at the bottom, learned how to do things and have worked to become a professional but it took years to get there.  

    Did we  pick up a pencil and think we can draw a Picaso? No! Did we buy a camera and think we are Ansel Adams? No!.  Did we buy a paintbrush and think that we were producing a Di Vinci? No!  We learned from those that knew how to do things right and climbed up to the point we are at now.  We never expected to be considered anymore than what we were, we just wanted the knowledge to get there so we could be considered professional.

    Does this mean that I have no respect for people who are beginners?  No, this just means that I expect people to educate themselves and if you want to be taken as a serious Artist then you need to be serious in what you do.  Do not spend time doing things wrong and expect people to just accept it because “Everyone has to start somewhere” when you are not even willing to learn.

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