I Am A Wannabe Photographer

Melanie and I decided to go out on a different kind of adventure back in January. Rather than go out into the woods or onto the sandy beaches of new jersey, we chose to explore a nearby town by the name of new hope. I had heard before that it was a beautiful town with plenty of great photographic opportunities. While that did not turn out to be the case, we did run into an interesting scenario at one of the art galleries we visited.

Being one of the last galleries we visited that day, I was excited to find even more inspiration for my photography. Art of all sorts tends to inspire me, so I figured I would at least get something out of this one, as I had from the others.

Anyway, we walked into the gallery and were greeted by the artist herself, sitting behind the computer screen upon her desk. She seemed taken aback that we were within the confines of her rented building, considering we are college students rather than an older couple with money to burn. She proceeded to voice this opinion of hers, asking if we were students to which we replied “yes.”

Okay, I get it. There aren’t a whole lot of teenagers or young adults out there who appreciate art in the way that I do. Seeing a young adult walk into an art gallery by choice can of course come across as shocking. It wasn’t the fact that she asked if we were students that bothered me, however. It was the way she asked, as though she did not believe we walked in on our own accord. My apologies ma’am – I had not realized people under 40 could not enjoy art.

Oh, and that isn’t even the worst part.

Me being me, I mentioned that we were photographers, hoping it would explain why we enjoyed art galleries. I mean, any sort of publicity is good publicity, right?

Of course, she decided to correct me. I was not a photographer, she told me. No, I was a “wannabe photographer,” to quote her directly.

Wait, what?

I hoped to rectify this situation by telling her that I had been doing photography for the past four years now. Maybe she just thought that I was starting out, carting around a point and shoot camera, taking snapshots of my dog in the park.


She continued to persist, telling me that I was a wannabe photographer and that I would not be an actual photographer until I made a sale.

Again I ask: what?

Since when did being an artist of any kind require making money?

What about those of us who do not have a desire to make money, wishing to keep it as a hobby instead?

Again, my apologies ma’am. I had not known that you were making millions of dollars off your art. I also had not known that you had the right to criticize my girlfriend and I, claiming that we are not true photographers. Who’s to say that we do not make money off our creations? Just because we are college students does not mean that we cannot be making money off our passion.

Did I mention she called her son a wannabe photographer as well? I mean, if it pisses me off to this degree – enough to write a full-on article about it – I can only imagine how much it kills him to hear it.

But that’s okay. I would rather be known as a wannabe photographer who creates works of art which come from my heart, rather than make shit just for the money.

Thanks for the article idea by the way, rude wannabe painter!