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Old Dec 28, 2004, 5:56 PM   #1
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Hello all!!!

Does anybody know exactly what is the difference between a professional and amateur photographer?? Does it depends on years of experience? Formal studies? Equipment used? Awards won? or whath else?? :?
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Old Dec 28, 2004, 6:02 PM   #2
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well, in most things, it's if you make a living doing it...

at least that's what i call a professional..

it could be considered someone REALLY good at it.

Vito
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Old Dec 28, 2004, 6:03 PM   #3
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If your main source of income is from photography then doesn't that make you professional?

EDIT: Beaten by vito
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Old Dec 28, 2004, 6:08 PM   #4
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I'm just a newbie so take it for what it's worth...

To me, a pro is one that gets paid (decent amount) to take photographs. Amateurs, on the other hand, either don't get paid or get paid very little. I consider amateurs to be those that do photography as a hobby and are not as serious. Since pros get paid and make a living off photography, their quality and ability is far above the amateurs IMO...

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Old Dec 28, 2004, 6:34 PM   #5
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When somebody decides that he is going to make his living at a particular activity, he isn't going to get anywhere if he doesn't have some basics.

He has to have some aptitude for the job; skill with the tools of the trade and a desire to make money.

He may realize that in order to perform at the level of others in the field, he will need to have equipment that will not let him down and which produce results that people are willing to pay for.

Don't beleive all that sappy rubbish about how it isn't the camera but the photographer...the person who hires himself out as a wedding photographer and then shows up with a point and shoot pocket camera isn't going to be able to deliver to his customers.
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Old Dec 28, 2004, 6:40 PM   #6
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Meryl Arbing wrote:
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Don't beleive all that sappy rubbish about how it isn't the camera but the photographer...the person who hires himself out as a wedding photographer and then shows up with a point and shoot pocket camera isn't going to be able to deliver to his customers.

That's true to some extent, but equally someone turning up with $100,000 of medium format camera and lenses and a 22 megapixel digital backisn't necessarily going to do better than someone with a D70 and the kit lens.

The level where the equipment is the limiting major factor is relatively low.
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Old Dec 28, 2004, 7:51 PM   #7
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The reason they're called "professional" is because of the considerable time, effort and risk(financial and physical)invested to thoroughly learn a skill set. You don't get to be a pro photog just by investing in a good camera, or just by taking a course at the local community college. It takes a lot of practice, and a bit of talent, too. Who would you really want to fix your brakes - a trained master mechanic, or the kid
next door who is "good with his hands"? How about some guy who's "got a knack with a knife" instead of a trained, experienced surgeon to take out that inflamed appendix or tumor?

My two bits.

ECM

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Old Dec 28, 2004, 8:12 PM   #8
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MrPogo wrote:
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That's true to some extent, but equally someone turning up with $100,000 of medium format camera and lenses and a 22 megapixel digital backisn't necessarily going to do better than someone with a D70 and the kit lens.

The level where the equipment is the limiting major factor is relatively low.
While it is true that a master of the harmonica can produce more music than a beginner on the grand piano...a master of the grand piano will best the harmonica each time.

The main reason why a professional has more flexible gear than the beginner is not that the skilled photographer CAN'T take a picture with a simple camera but that he can take a much more controlled picture with top quality gear.
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Old Dec 28, 2004, 8:17 PM   #9
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My only addition is that you should not assume a pro is good. Only that they make a living at it (or try.)

I have known good professionals, and bad ones. And I know some amatures that are better than some professionals.

My defintion of a "professional photographer" is someone who gets paid for their work. It is probably (but not necessarily) someone who's derives a majority of their income is from it photography.

I know a very good "professional" (get requests to do paid jobs) who's major source of income is not photography. But I would consider him a professional.

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Old Dec 28, 2004, 8:21 PM   #10
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In my view, what makes a 'professional' is....

1. An understanding of lighting, and its application to a range of different subjects;

2. A thorough understanding of what the equipment can & can't do;

3. Experience of a range of standard jobs e.g., weddings (still very difficult for digicams), studio shots of bits & pieces for adverts, etc., etc.

I'm NOT a professional, but I have a long standing friend & former colleague who is, and I know his instincts to be good, developed over many years of experience.
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