The Photographers stages of being.
stage 1 “The Complete Newbie”
Knows they want to take pictures but have no idea how to go about it.
stage 2 “The Interested Beginner”
Knows there is more to photography they begin the process of learning and spend time looking to forums & groups to help grow their skills.
stage 3 “The Obsessive Amateur”
Has a growing evolving kit of equipment.
They spend large amount of time pouring over manufacturer equipment specs and arguing over even the most trivial of details on forums.
They become overly obsessed with the equipment IQ capabilities.
Unfortunately while sidetracked by all the neat equipment available to them they do not spend much time actually growing their skills by working on task of image making.
stage 4 “The Image Maker”
Realizes the equipment is just a tool, a necessary evil.
They finally embark on the real journey of understanding light and imagining. They have a tendency to become a bit reclusive while chasing their new found vision and drop off from or become infrequent visitors to on-line communities in favor of actually working on their skills of producing images.
stage 5 “The Master”
at the zenith of their abilities they reach the Zen of image making.
They become one with the image making process and their equipment (Anyone who believes they have reached this stage, have not!)
stage 6 “There is no stage 6”
By far most people who embark on the photographic journey appear to progress fairly quickly from stage 1 through stage 2 to stage 3 where many tend to get stuck.
They become mired down in trying to understand all the wonderful equipment that keeps appearing on the market for them to obtain.
Many fortunately eventually escape the bling and flash of all the new kit after a while, and get back on track of becoming a proficient image maker.
Though not all make it to stage 4, their hobby becomes the photo equipment in itself. Which is fine, especially if you are a photo equipment manufacturer!
Stage 5 is a myth, no one ever actually gets to this point though some have gotten very close!