Forums > Model Colloquy > The mis use of the word "amateur"

Photographer

DAVISICON

Posts: 476

San Antonio, Texas, US

Im a little confused by the terms amateur and wasting time???  First of all no one is wasting time, if you were "willing" to pose, on most occasions this "obviously" means your in need of photographs, did you look at the photographers portfolio to see if they were the "type" of photographs you would be interested in?,  and one of the greatest misunderstandings is the word "amateur" , if your not supporting your self completely with an income off "modeling" or "photography"  , then you are an "amateur"!,  amateur is not a bad word, and amateur does not mean bad or sloppy, people tend to  use the word amateur wrongly all the time.  "TFP" OR "TFI"  is a great "tool" for both sides, as long as both side are in need. I wrote "female modeling for amateurs" and "male modeling for amateurs" a few months ago  both are on amazon by billy joe davis ..........people are very uninformed as to the true definition of the word "amateur"  since most all of us are amateurs! The word amateur is not an insult and never should be used as one.

William Shakespeare and Leonardo da Vinci were considered amateur artists
Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein were considered "amateur" scientists.
There are very very few "professional models or photographers", most are "amateur" meaning not full time or permanent. A "professional" is a person who is engaged in a certain activity, or occupation, for gain or compensation as a total means of livelihood; such as a permanent career. Is it possible to be "professional" then turn "amateur" again? of course it is!

My response......my point was prompted by a model on here "badmouthing" a photographer and saying he was an "amateur" and that she did him a "favor" by doing "tfi".....I only mention the books because I chose to use the word "amateur" in the title  because I dont feel its an insult....
Thank you for all the opinions, it seems a lot of feathers are ruffled, which is my point, Ive seen numerous models refer to other models and photographers as "amateurs", used as an insult!  I don't think it is an insult and yes there are covers of my books but that wasn't the intention..........so thanks for the opinions and insults, as for the scientists and artists? Im not here to debate them or google, "historically" during during their time, they were considered amateurs. I'm not insulting anyone, as for my spelling etc....im not a editor or proofreader, but go ahead if it makes you feel better. No one is saying your not good at what you do, the word in several definitions refers to sole income of making a living at that's all, i didn't realize so many enjoy being condescending. thank you for the few that understood what i meant and for the others, thanks for the insults........As for "hawking" anything, isnt that what everyone is doing on here?, "hawking" their services??? so why single me out......ohhh and a big thank you for all the personal attacks on my portfolio, I guess I was wrong about "kindness" being the rule, Im an "amateur" and nothing more, I will do my best to never speak in these forums again, too many vipers...............W

May 18 13 12:46 am Link

Model

Elisa 1

Posts: 3344

Monmouth, Wales, United Kingdom

The problems arise round here when one gets amateurs telling professionals what they should and shouldn't be doing, saying we are mercenary etc.

May 18 13 02:05 am Link

Photographer

Philipe

Posts: 5214

Pomona, California, US

Eliza C  new portfolio wrote:
The problems arise round here when one gets amateurs telling professionals what they should and shouldn't be doing, saying we are mercenary etc.

+1

May 18 13 02:13 am Link

Photographer

FlirtynFun Photography

Posts: 13150

Houston, Texas, US

Assuming the OP gets revenue from the book he's promoting in this thread...he may want to look up the definition of "amateur"

am·a·teur (m-tûr, -tr, -chr, -chr, -tyr)
n.
1. A person who engages in an art, science, study, or athletic activity as a pastime rather than as a profession.
2. Sports An athlete who has never accepted money, or who accepts money under restrictions specified by a regulatory body, for participating in a competition.
3. One lacking the skill of a professional, as in an art.
adj.
1. Of or performed by an amateur.
2. Made up of amateurs: an amateur cast.
3. Not professional; unskillful.

May 18 13 02:18 am Link

Photographer

Jerry Nemeth

Posts: 27952

Dearborn, Michigan, US

Eliza C  new portfolio wrote:
The problems arise round here when one gets amateurs telling professionals what they should and shouldn't be doing, saying we are mercenary etc.

I agree!

May 18 13 03:02 am Link

Photographer

Decay of Memory

Posts: 600

Asheville, North Carolina, US

Eliza C  new portfolio wrote:
The problems arise round here when one gets amateurs telling professionals what they should and shouldn't be doing, saying we are mercenary etc.

I'm pretty sure, given the op's writings, that amateurs can also be mercenary.

As for problems arising, it certainly would be both reassuring and just generally tidier if they had a single source.

May 18 13 04:15 am Link

Photographer

Wolfy4u

Posts: 1103

Grand Junction, Colorado, US

I'm wondering if the OP if missing the point. Is it more important to have an understanding with most people or to prove he's technically correct. In MM, and most other places, it's common to use the words professional and amateur to mean proficient and learning. Most of us don't care about the technical meaning.
I'm a life long 'professional' trombone player, but I can't make a living playing it at this point because there's no business left. Does that mean that I'm not a professional? I think not. To me, the word professional means proficient at most/all of the facets of my profession. Amateurs are often my students.

To me, NFL players are not only professional because of their income, but because they're the best players anywhere. The college players are the amateurs because they're in the process of learning all the in's and out's of the business.

Amateurs are often good at some parts of their business. Professionals, should have an understanding of most/all facets of their business.

May 18 13 04:51 am Link

Photographer

D-Light

Posts: 618

Newcastle, Limerick, Ireland

Wolfy4u wrote:
In MM, and most other places, it's common to use the words professional and amateur to mean proficient and learning. Most of us don't care about the technical meaning.
I'm a life long 'professional' trombone player, but I can't make a living playing it at this point because there's no business left. Does that mean that I'm not a professional? I think not. To me, the word professional means proficient at most/all of the facets of my profession. Amateurs are often my students.

I think you're looking to rewrite the dictionary here. Professional has nothing to do with how good you are at anything, it means that you earn more than 50% of your income from what you do. Some amateurs are far better than some professionals but they are amateurs because they are not making a living from it.

The technical meaning may not mean anything to you and you may have invented your own meanings but it's by using words correctly that we can communicate effectively with others and avoid misunderstandings.

May 18 13 05:37 am Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12826

Atlanta, Georgia, US

The technical meaning has been given and it can refer to income as well as skill level, move on nothing to see here.

May 18 13 05:45 am Link

Photographer

Adam J Caldwell

Posts: 289

London, England, United Kingdom

FlirtynFun Photography wrote:
Assuming the OP gets revenue from the book he's promoting in this thread...he may want to look up the definition of "amateur"

am·a·teur (m-tûr, -tr, -chr, -chr, -tyr)
n.
1. A person who engages in an art, science, study, or athletic activity as a pastime rather than as a profession.
2. Sports An athlete who has never accepted money, or who accepts money under restrictions specified by a regulatory body, for participating in a competition.
3. One lacking the skill of a professional, as in an art.
adj.
1. Of or performed by an amateur.
2. Made up of amateurs: an amateur cast.
3. Not professional; unskillful.

This .

May 18 13 05:49 am Link

Photographer

Joseph William

Posts: 2025

Chicago, Illinois, US

DAVISICON wrote:
William Shakespeare and Leonardo da Vinci were considered amateur artists
Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein were considered "amateur" scientists.

This is not at all correct, a simple google search on each of these people will show that they were never considered Amateur Any things.

May 18 13 06:26 am Link

Photographer

Carle Photography

Posts: 9227

Oakland, California, US

So a guy starts a thread touting the "amateur" lifestyle is hawking self published Blurb softcover books for $95.00+

Worst shill ever.

May 18 13 09:34 am Link

Photographer

JPV_IMAGES

Posts: 390

Norwich, England, United Kingdom

Joseph William  wrote:

This is not at all correct, a simple google search on each of these people will show that they were never considered Amateur Any things.

Surely it is partially correct?

No one knows for sure how W Shakespeare earned his income, Leonardo was mainly employed as a designer of military fortifications so could easily be classed as an amateur artist, Charles Darwin paid his own way on the Beagle and was not in employment when formulating his theory so was surely an amateur and Einstein was working in the patent office when formulating his theory of relativity so was also an amateur at the time.

May 18 13 09:51 am Link

Photographer

nyk fury

Posts: 2918

Port Townsend, Washington, US

i would feel insulted if anyone ever called me a pro anything.

May 18 13 10:02 am Link

Photographer

Joseph William

Posts: 2025

Chicago, Illinois, US

the internet wrote:
Unlike many artists, Shakespeare enjoyed prosperity during his own lifetime. It is impossible to calculate his income with any certainty, although as playwright, sharer in the Lord Chamberlain's company, and partner in the Globe and Blackfriars theaters, he probably made about £200 annually at the height of his career.

Einstein is a little different after finishing his undergraduate degree there were no available jobs in academia, so he worked in the patent office (wile working on his dissertation) but he was not just a lowly clerk

his wikipedea page wrote:
Much of his work at the patent office related to questions about transmission of electric signals and electrical-mechanical synchronization of time, two technical problems that show up conspicuously in the thought experiments that eventually led Einstein to his radical conclusions about the nature of light and the fundamental connection between space and time

when he finished his dissertation, and published what became known as his theory of relativity he got his doctorate and worked in academia from then on.

Darwins father fronted the money for him to be on the beagle, and he had a sponsor in publishing origin of species.  It seems like his wiki page is saying that his work written and published and specimens collected wile he was on the Beagle earned him money. so this one is a bit grey with out spending more time looking into it


Da Vinci was apprenticed at the age of 14 to an artist.  This means that he lived with the artist and helped with art in exchange for room and board.  At the time this was the only carer path for an artist.  You could not become a "master" of any thing (blacksmithing... etc.) with out being an apprentice (where in you basicaly belonged to the "master").

He got commissions for art long before he was paid for any thing else


all of this is really a tangent.  It just bothered me that OP makes this statement as part of him trying to sell his book when a little research shows that its not that simple

May 18 13 10:36 am Link

Photographer

Ed Woodson Photography

Posts: 2644

Savannah, Georgia, US

As an Amateur, I think there's too much fuss over who is, who isn't and why.

Have a nice day.

May 18 13 11:00 am Link

Model

Jen B

Posts: 3179

Hopkinsville, Kentucky, US

DAVISICON wrote:
Im a little confused by the terms amateur and wasting time??? ...
So proudly join the "amateur" modeling,photography,art, etc community! It may lead to even more experiences and opportunities!

I describe myself as not only an amateur model but also as "a" model or a hobbyist model.  I usually immediately qualify it by saying "for now" or "trying to become professional when my current work contract releases me."

Jen

May 18 13 11:17 am Link

Photographer

ciaranwhyte

Posts: 42

Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

I let my images do the talking and let the viewer decide what bracket they put me in

May 18 13 11:31 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

I'm curious when you'll come out with the next book?

I suggest "Proofreading For Amateurs."

May 18 13 11:36 am Link

Photographer

Bravo Magic Images

Posts: 765

Temple City, California, US

The word derived from. "I am Mature". Amature was a term used to show that you had matured to better than what you were. Amature. For instance when I was a baby i had to wear Dypers because i was still an amature and could not wear regular undies. Now I'm old and can not wear regular underwear so i have to use dypers again which means I am back to being an Amature...

May 18 13 11:46 am Link

Photographer

ciaranwhyte

Posts: 42

Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Bravo Magic Images wrote:
The word derived from. "I am Mature". Amature was a term used to show that you had matured to better than what you were. Amature. For instance when I was a baby i had to wear Dypers because i was still an amature and could not wear regular undies. Now I'm old and can not wear regular underwear so i have to use dypers again which means I am back to being an Amature...

Eh not really.....


An amateur (French amateur "lover of", from Old French and ultimately from Latin amatorem nom. amator, "lover") is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science in a non-professional or unpaid manner. Amateurs often have little or no formal training in their pursuits, and many are autodidacts (self-taught).

May 18 13 11:54 am Link

Photographer

Bravo Magic Images

Posts: 765

Temple City, California, US

ciaranwhyte wrote:

Eh not really.....


An amateur (French amateur "lover of", from Old French and ultimately from Latin amatorem nom. amator, "lover") is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science in a non-professional or unpaid manner. Amateurs often have little or no formal training in their pursuits, and many are autodidacts (self-taught).

Give me a Break....

May 18 13 12:05 pm Link

Photographer

Designit - Edward Olson

Posts: 1637

Eureka, California, US

Bravo Magic Images wrote:
The word derived from. "I am Mature". Amature was a term used to show that you had matured to better than what you were. Amature. For instance when I was a baby i had to wear Dypers because i was still an amature and could not wear regular undies. Now I'm old and can not wear regular underwear so i have to use dypers again which means I am back to being an Amature...

I can't tell if you're joking. I hope you are, even though it's not funny.

ciaranwhyte wrote:
Eh not really.....

An amateur (French amateur "lover of", from Old French and ultimately from Latin amatorem nom. amator, "lover") is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science in a non-professional or unpaid manner. Amateurs often have little or no formal training in their pursuits, and many are autodidacts (self-taught).

This isn't completely accurate though.

Amateur does mean "lover." It is applied to those whose pursuits are done for the love of the thing. It does not necessarily preclude skill and training normally attributed to and expected of those who make their living from the same pursuit. An amateur can be paid for their work (except when you apply the term to sports and the NCAA, I guess), but don't usually do it as their primary occupation.

An amateur can be a student, a retired professional in the same field, a professional in another area or related field, or someone who aspires to becoming a paid professional in the same field through formal study, an apprenticeship, or self-study.

The unifying theme for all is that they love what they do.

In my area, there is a great deal of community theatre. There aren't enough paid acting jobs for even one person to be an actor or director or costumer as their primary occupation and source of financial self-support.

But to say that they aren't professional would be an insult to their training, skill, and experience level in those endeavors, regardless of not doing it for the pay.

May 18 13 01:48 pm Link

Photographer

WIP

Posts: 15540

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

A photographer as an amateur has no reason to take a picture. Just as a model has no reason to turn up to a shoot.

As with all hobby's there is no commitment if you want to have a day or month of no problem.

May 18 13 03:18 pm Link

Photographer

Danny Does Glamour

Posts: 2343

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Amateur derived from the phrase "I am a chair." The accent of the people back in those times made "chair" sound like "chur". The early spelling of the word was Amachur and was later changed to Amateur after the war.

The phrase meant "I am a place to sit" or "please, sit on me". If you were an "Amachur" you spent long days and nights on one knee providing wealthy townspeople a place to rest.

Coincidentally it was one of these "Amachurs" who later invented the park bench.

May 18 13 03:47 pm Link

Photographer

Charger Photography

Posts: 1720

San Antonio, Texas, US

Death of Field wrote:
So a guy starts a thread touting the "amateur" lifestyle is hawking self published Blurb softcover books for $95.00+

Worst shill ever.

LOL smile

May 18 13 03:59 pm Link

Photographer

Click Hamilton

Posts: 34741

San Diego, California, US

You can call me anything you like, as long as you call me.

May 18 13 05:40 pm Link

Photographer

Orca Bay Images

Posts: 32233

Lodi, California, US

Death of Field wrote:
So a guy starts a thread touting the "amateur" lifestyle is hawking self published Blurb softcover books for $95.00+

Worst shill ever.

lol

May 18 13 06:09 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12826

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Joseph William  wrote:
Da Vinci was apprenticed at the age of 14 to an artist.  This means that he lived with the artist and helped with art in exchange for room and board.  At the time this was the only carer path for an artist.  You could not become a "master" of any thing (blacksmithing... etc.) with out being an apprentice (where in you basicaly belonged to the "master").

He got commissions for art long before he was paid for any thing else

If I recall he was also sponsored by a royal court for a good portion of his adult life, so I would call that professional.

May 18 13 07:47 pm Link

Photographer

zaxpix

Posts: 1988

New Brunswick, New Jersey, US

DAVISICON wrote:
William Shakespeare and Leonardo da Vinci were considered amateur artists

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - William Shakespeare

How apropos.

Z.

May 18 13 08:10 pm Link

Photographer

R Byron Johnson

Posts: 767

Norman, Oklahoma, US

Eliza C  new portfolio wrote:
The problems arise round here when one gets amateurs telling professionals what they should and shouldn't be doing, saying we are mercenary etc.

Mercenary?  So amateurs are going around accusing pros of being hired killers?

Worst analogy ever.

May 18 13 09:40 pm Link

Photographer

R Byron Johnson

Posts: 767

Norman, Oklahoma, US

c_h_r_i_s wrote:
A photographer as an amateur has no reason to take a picture. Just as a model has no reason to turn up to a shoot.

As with all hobby's there is no commitment if you want to have a day or month of no problem.

Huh?

People tend to care more about their hobbies than they do their jobs.  Hobbies are things people actually ENJOY doing, jobs are typically just something people do to get their bills paid.  So saying that there is no real commitment to a hobby is friggin' retarded.  People change jobs often, but their hobbies seem to last a lifetime.

May 18 13 09:46 pm Link

Photographer

WIP

Posts: 15540

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

Ahhh right so that explains all those flake models.... commitment ! it would also explains S. Meisel changing jobs and working on a building site... changed his job.

May 19 13 02:55 am Link

Photographer

imobious-media

Posts: 9

Peterborough, England, United Kingdom

The Titanic was built by a team of professionals  Nora’s  Arc was built by an amateur

May 19 13 09:34 am Link

Photographer

JPV_IMAGES

Posts: 390

Norwich, England, United Kingdom

imobious-media wrote:
The Titanic was built by a team of professionals  Nora’s  Arc was built by an amateur

The iceberg was created by an amateur!

May 20 13 01:44 am Link

Photographer

DCSquared Photography

Posts: 52

Murfreesboro, Tennessee, US

If I may add a quote from a very famous photographer when it comes to the idea of "amateur"
"Let me here call attention to one of the most universally popular mistakes that have to do with photography - that of classing supposedly excellent work as professional, and using the term amateur to convey the idea of immature productions and to excuse atrociously poor photographs. As a matter of fact nearly all the greatest work is being, and has always been done, by those who are following photography for the love of it, and not merely for financial reasons. As the name implies, an amateur is one who works for love; and viewed in this light the incorrectness of the popular classification is readily apparent" - Alfred Stieglitz

I'm an amateur, I'll admit, but my skills and technique are improving. However it doesn't really matter for as long as you pick up your camera and photograph, who cares if your amateur or not. As Stieglitz said, an amateur is someone who follows photography for the love of it, and works for love too.

My thoughts.

May 21 13 06:54 am Link

Model

BlackSilk_GothModel

Posts: 200

California, Maryland, US

DAVISICON wrote:
Im a little confused by the terms amateur and wasting time???  First of all no one is wasting time, if you were "willing" to pose, on most occasions this "obviously" means your in need of photographs, did you look at the photographers portfolio to see if they were the "type" of photographs you would be interested in?,  and one of the greatest misunderstandings is the word "amateur" , if your not supporting your self completely with an income off "modeling" or "photography"  , then you are an "amateur"!,  amateur is not a bad word, and amateur does not mean bad or sloppy, people tend amateur wrongly all the time.  "TFP" OR "TFI"  is a great "tool" for both sides, as long as both side are in need. I wrote "female modeling for amateurs" and "male modeling for amateurs" a few months ago  both are on amazon by billy joe davis ..........people are very uninformed as to the true definition of the word "amateur"  since most all of us are amateurs! The word amateur is not an insult and never should be used as one.

William Shakespeare and Leonardo da Vinci were considered amateur artists
Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein were considered "amateur" scientists.
There are very very few "professional models or photographers", most are "amateur" meaning not full time or permanent. A "professional" is a person who is engaged in a certain activity, or occupation, for gain or compensation as a total means of livelihood; such as a permanent career. Is it possible to be "professional" then turn "amateur" again? of course it is!

So proudly join the "amateur" modeling,photography,art, etc community! It may lead to even more experiences and opportunities!

Professional Amateur

May 21 13 07:10 am Link

Photographer

WIP

Posts: 15540

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

DCSquared Photography wrote:
As Stieglitz said, an amateur is someone who follows photography for the love of it, and works for love too.

But the difference being Stieglitz was a pioneer and didn't dedicate his time to taking pic's of T&A or some poor excuse for art as is with MM.

This type of forum pops up occasionally and people try to justify themselves by quoting famous photographers/artists.... I somehow don't think MM has produced a photographer/artist of noted fame calibre.

May 21 13 09:29 am Link

Photographer

Carle Photography

Posts: 9227

Oakland, California, US

c_h_r_i_s wrote:
But the difference being Stieglitz was a pioneer and didn't dedicate his time to taking pic's of T&A or some poor excuse for art as is with MM.

This type of forum pops up occasionally and people try to justify themselves by quoting famous photographers/artists.... I somehow don't think MM has produced a photographer/artist of noted fame calibre.

MM has only been around 8 years, it takes longer than 8 years to get to the "noted fame calibre"

Give us 20 years then see who rose to the top.
I'm sure a few will have by then.

May 21 13 09:41 am Link

Photographer

Will Snizek Photography

Posts: 1387

Beckley, West Virginia, US

The way I look at it, there will always be amateurs, semi-pros and pros in every field in art.  Just because you are amateur doesn't mean that you don't know a lot.  And just because you are professional doesn't mean you know a lot.  Even though there are 3 basic categories, the differences within are extremely diverse.  This is basically the sort of debate that has no real logical end.

Also at the end of the day, an artist is worth far more dead than alive.  Most artists never reach a level of understanding or appreciation they desire during their lives anyway, so there's not a lot of use in debating stuff like this.

I personally don't care what someone classifies themselves as.  If their work speaks to me, I'll listen.

May 21 13 09:45 am Link