Column: Why I want to become a professional photographer

A rainbow formed in Oxford after a rain storm. Photo by Abby Hamelton.

Abby Hamelton
Oxford Stories

Growing up, I was surrounded by people taking pictures in Chicago, and I constantly looked through National Geographic magazines. It was truly incredible to see there was so much more to the world.

When I was in high school, I went to Europe and soon discovered I was not half bad at taking pictures. Of course, I argued that they only looked good because they were pictures of the Duomo, Eiffel Tower, and any statue I saw. My friends said I had a natural talent for it.

Later, I became obsessed with the idea that one day I could have a job that would enable me to travel the world and take pictures of everything that held beauty. I think it is a really beautiful thing when someone can look at a picture and feel something emotional.

The Lyceum. Photo by Abby Hamelton.

Pictures, whether they are of a landscape or model, have a way of making someone feel something. It can bring back memories, good or bad. Pictures have a powerful effect on people. That makes it fascinating to me and makes me want to take better pictures every time I pick up my camera.

I think it’s hard for some people to turn their hobbies into a career like this one because not every hobby is as needed in the world as this one. But that could also be my bias towards photography.

Game day at Ole Miss on the football field. Photo by Abby Hamelton.

With the world changing to digital for most things, it makes sense to pick a career that will not die. Photography has been around for so long because nothing can replace it. When photography was first introduced to the world, it changed everything because people finally got to know and understand the world around them.

Pictures are everywhere, from the ones you keep of your family and friends, to those in catalogs and newspapers, and now they are taking over because of social media. Now that everyone has a camera built into their phones, it is harder to take credit for pictures with all the reposting and sharing.

The Lafayette County courthouse on the Oxford Square. Photo by Abby Hamelton.

I still believe there is a major difference between pictures that are taken with a camera compared to those taken with an iPhone. The quality of an iPhone camera has improved in the past few years, but the camera is what makes photography so fun. Photography, no matter how the pictures are taken, is something that will be around forever, and that is why it is not a bad career path.

Photos are beautiful and educational. Photos are used as examples in classes and as a way to teach history. They are all over textbooks and in documentaries to show proof of what has happened in the past because a photo cannot be made up.

For example, with the fire that occurred at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, no one from the United States or any other country would have believed this happened unless there was proof. Thankfully, we live in this time and do have photographers capturing all these events.

The bell tower with a clock in the spring on the Ole Miss campus. Photo by Abby Hamelton.

Even though I want my main career to be photography, it is hard to commit to a career based on a hobby, but if I work hard enough, I think it will work out just fine. I envision myself working for National Geographic or a nature magazine. I prefer to take pictures of landscapes rather than people because I like to travel and find new beautiful spots.

I am excited to start a career one day in photography and to show other people how beautiful the world is. This was an easy decision for me because I love to travel, and I always have my camera with me, whether it is my phone or my camera.

Photography is an artform that will never die no matter what is being used to take the picture because photographs show proof of the beauty of the world, teach history, and give people a little sense of hope.

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