When you find yourself up late at night, trolling flickr for some cool stuff to look at, following every photographer you can find on twitter, and have a stack of photo magazines thicker than that other stack of other magazines, you're probably pretty into this stuff.
Welcome to the club.
I'm lucky enough to do photography all day, every day. I don't take vacations, I take trips with my camera. I don't call in sick for work, I do research in bed. And I certainly don't dread waking up every morning, unless it's really really early, and even then I manage to get pumped for the days shoot.
In other words, like many other people out there, I eat, sleep and breathe photography. If you're unsure if you have the symptoms, here's a quick diagnosis after the break.
EAT: Like consuming photography? Do you have bookcases full of how-to books, tech spec, gear pron and specialty magazines? Lists of contacts on flickr, following on twitter, fan of on facebook and every other social media site imaginable for you to check out their work? Are you subscribed to blogs like this one? Then you're a photo consumer, and an active one at that. Consuming photos is almost as important as taking them, it gives you ideas and direction, shows you things you may have never thought of on your own. Just don't forget to go out and try them too.
SLEEP: In addition to being at that age where pulling all-nighters is both necessary and possible, I'll spend more time thinking about photography before I go to sleep than any other time of the day-even when I'm working. Most artists I know keep a journal or notepad next to their bed, just in case inspiration strikes. Since my bed is currently 6 feet off the ground, I have to climb down and get on my computer, but you can use some looseleaf if you want to.
BREATHE: If I've learned one thing about photographers, it's that we love to talk. About photography. All day. While I was running the awesome Ann Arbor Strobist meetups, we talked about tools and techniques non-stop before, during and after our meetings. Even when the discussion drifted away from what we were doing, it would land right back down on another area of photography.
And that's why social media has found a huge amount of success in photography, or vice versa. We all love to share how we create images, what drives us to do it, and what's next on our list to conquer. The internet in general made it that much easier to do so, and moved the discussion out of the camera store and into the homes of photographers everywhere. Everyone from a first time shooter to a full time pro has something they want to share.
So, do you eat, sleep and breathe photography? If you're already here, I think we know the answer.