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Old Sep 4, 2010, 1:26 PM   #1
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Default Professional != Expert != Veteran

I'm sure I'm not alone when it bugs me to see "professional", "expert", and "veteran" used interchangeably. I suppose from the outside looking in, it's all the same, and it's all ritzy. But they're far from synonyms.

A professional photographer relies on photography for a significant portion of his income. It doesn't have to be the portion that pays the bills, but it certainly has to be taxable.

A veteran photographer, sometimes known as a seasoned professional (though I can never figure out which spices were used), has spent the better portion of their life with a camera in their hands, whether as a hobbyist or a professional. They most likely have accumulated a huge collection of photographic equipment, which they hint at regularly to watch the rest of us salivate. The wealth of knowledge and experience they have under their belts usually qualifies them for the title "expert" as well, though some have never managed to get past the size of their camera.

An expert photographer is simply that. An expert. He knows everything about his camera, your camera, and my camera. He can step into any situation and come out with a mind-blowing shot. Many experts are veterans, but many others are simply Einstein reincarnates with only a few years experience, who succeed at whatever they try. The latter tend to clash regularly with the former.

I'm afraid I don't fit any of these categories, but my guise as safe as long as I don't bump into someone who does.
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 6:55 PM   #2
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I have a little different take on this. A professional is a person who is paid to perform an activity. Not to say that all professionals act professionally, but the wage is the key element.

A veteran has experienced whatever the topic is, and the term can be relative.

An expert is someone who lives more than 60 miles away.
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 7:38 PM   #3
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A "Professional" is someone that gets paid to do what they do. Note that they don't have to be good at it; they just have to derive income from it.

A "Veteran" is someone that's been doing something for a long time. Note that they don't have to be good at it; they just have to have been doing longer than most people.

An "Expert" is someone that is good at some portion of what they do. Note that the portion of what they do that they're good at might be a very small part of the entirety of what they do, and they don't even have to know how that small part is related to all the other aspects of what they do.

I fall into the category of "None of the Above".
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 7:50 PM   #4
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A "Professional" is someone who bills for a service whether he gets paid or not.
A "veteran" is someone who has been there, done that, got the T-shirt, wore it out, threw it away, and forgot why he was there in the first place.
"X" is the mathematical expression for an unknown. "spurt" is a drip under pressure.
"Xspurt" is, as you might expect, an unknown drip under pressure.


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Old Sep 4, 2010, 8:58 PM   #5
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Perfect humor, Brian-

Well done!

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Old Sep 5, 2010, 12:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
A "Professional" is someone who bills for a service whether he gets paid or not.
A "veteran" is someone who has been there, done that, got the T-shirt, wore it out, threw it away, and forgot why he was there in the first place.
"X" is the mathematical expression for an unknown. "spurt" is a drip under pressure.
"Xspurt" is, as you might expect, an unknown drip under pressure.


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Old Sep 5, 2010, 2:44 AM   #7
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Anyone care to punt for a definition of (photographer) "artist"?

'cos artists don't have to be professional, veteran or expert but they can be really really good without those things.

Obviously PVEs can be artists, but it certainly isn't necessary.
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 7:08 AM   #8
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I love these relative terms! I watched a similar argument with my woodworking chums - what is a woodworker?

assemble Ikea furnature?
Load a CNC machine?
Program a CNC machine?
build from plans?
design and build?
Harvest trees into lumber, then design and build?
With no electricity?

A similar thought had run through my mind with photography - I can compose and run a photo through Topaz, but am I a photographer, or an artist? Neither - I'm a woodworker with a camera...
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 8:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I love these relative terms! I watched a similar argument with my woodworking chums - what is a woodworker?

[...]

A similar thought had run through my mind with photography - I can compose and run a photo through Topaz, but am I a photographer, or an artist? Neither - I'm a woodworker with a camera...
I used to live out in the sticks, with a couple acres of fruit trees and vegetable gardens. I often wore a western-style hat and leather boots, partly because I liked the style, but mostly because I find them highly practical when working out doors. But anywhere I'd go, people would ask me "Are you a cowboy?". I got to thinking - what would make me a "cowboy"? Would a couple cows count? Or would I need a ranch full of them? If so, what's the lower limit that qualifies? Would it have to be my sole income?

I think I'll get another one of those hats to wear around town, just for chuckles. "Wait... are you a cowboy or a photographer? *scratchhead*"
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