I used to be offended when people would refer to my photography as a hobby; it belittled my artistic endeavors. Often, I would step away from a larger argument and brush it off; it helped to imagine my painter friends’ reaction to the same, to being called hobby painters. I suspected they would not feel good about the label either. It is belittling to call someone’s artistic expression a hobby, whether it be a sculpture, photograph or a painting; most artists put tremendous effort into their artwork, thousands of hours thinking and revising, we are met with failure most of the time, countless do-overs. Artists must have a high level of bravery to create something and then put it out into the world to be judged.
I persisted; I did not let the words of others stop me. It would have been easy to give up and spend my time doing something else, i.e. playing video games, smoking dope, getting stoned. I stepped away many times, thinking I would not return. However, the passion and joy I felt every time I made a photograph, kept me hooked and outshined any prior disappointments. That emotion drove me to create the next photograph.
There is nothing wrong with photography as a hobby. Everyone is unique. If you ever feel discouraged, if someone diminishes your work, do not give up; the world is a better place with more artists!