What is an Amateur?

Started Sep 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Gallopingphotog
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What is an Amateur?
Sep 15, 2012

I'm involved in writing/updating rules for our fair's Photography competition, specifically the amateur division. Right now, there is no real clear definition of what constitutes an amateur vs. what makes a professional.

If you have a business card that says you are a professional photographer, then that pretty well boots you out of the amateur without argument. If you make your living taking pictures, like you are a photographer for a magazine or newspaper, you are not an amateur.

But what about someone who sometimes sells a photo for not much more than the cost of printing it? Or someone who, on a freelance basis, might once or twice a year shoot an event for some publication and might get a few hundred dollars, max?

The Professional division does not require that an exhibitor be a professional, so if an amateur wanted to "show up" they could. In that case, should the person be allowed to continue to show in Amateur in subsequent years? What about if they actually win in Professional (we have some awfully good photos in the Amateur categories!)

I don't know where to draw the line, and am interested in the experiences and opinions of others of you who have been involved with photography competitions.
Thanks for reading this and for any guidance you may offer.
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Gallopingphotog

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