What is a 'Pro' Photographer, really?

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
fredphotog
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Re: It's your job (incl weekend wedding photogs), PERIOD!
In reply to Zoofy, 10 months ago

What if someone is a 'paid pro' but doesn't need the money?
I know a few folks that inherited a fortune early on, they are 'pros' but don't need the money to put food on the table. I know 'pros' that do it simply for something to do.

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sigala1
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At least 10% of your income comes from photography
In reply to fredphotog, 10 months ago

fredphotog wrote:

We discuss it here, we see people say 'I am no Pro..', but these folks take darned good photos.

So what make a 'Pro' a 'Pro'?

It used to be if you made 50% or more of your income from a 'hobby' then you were considered a 'Pro'

So I say that if you have a day job, but you do photography on weekends and it's at least 10% of your total income, then it's more than just a hobby.

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chkproductions
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Re: At least 10% of your income comes from photography
In reply to sigala1, 10 months ago

sigala1 wrote:

fredphotog wrote:

We discuss it here, we see people say 'I am no Pro..', but these folks take darned good photos.

So what make a 'Pro' a 'Pro'?

It used to be if you made 50% or more of your income from a 'hobby' then you were considered a 'Pro'

So I say that if you have a day job, but you do photography on weekends and it's at least 10% of your total income, then it's more than just a hobby.

I'm curious then - if someone works in-house for a corportate communications department working as a photographer, videographer, graphic artist, writer, etc. are they not pro's or are they pro's?

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bosjohn21
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Re: What is a 'Pro' Photographer, really?
In reply to Aberaeron, 10 months ago

yes I was trying hard not to notice that not because you did not use the word correctly but because of the heavy baggage in connotations it brings with it. seems you dont have a high opinion of pros

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sigala1
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Re: At least 10% of your income comes from photography
In reply to chkproductions, 10 months ago

chkproductions wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

fredphotog wrote:

We discuss it here, we see people say 'I am no Pro..', but these folks take darned good photos.

So what make a 'Pro' a 'Pro'?

It used to be if you made 50% or more of your income from a 'hobby' then you were considered a 'Pro'

So I say that if you have a day job, but you do photography on weekends and it's at least 10% of your total income, then it's more than just a hobby.

I'm curious then - if someone works in-house for a corportate communications department working as a photographer, videographer, graphic artist, writer, etc. are they not pro's or are they pro's?

If your day job is as a salaried photographer, than 100% of your income is from photography so you are certainly a professional photographer. Even if your job is working at a Sears photo booth.

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AlbertInFrance
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Re: If You are Paid Anything - You are a Pro
In reply to GeraldW, 10 months ago

GeraldW wrote:

Was Henri Cartier-Bresson a "pro"? Ansel Adams certainly was. Cartier-Bresson didn't do it for the money. ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Cartier-Bresson

Seems like he made a living from it, but I haven't tried to access his personal accounts 

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AlbertInFrance
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Re: What is a 'Pro' Photographer, really?
In reply to fredphotog, 10 months ago

fredphotog wrote:

WRONG.

I have no interest in 'degrading' anyone's 'title'.

Let me ask this:

If you were a 100% paid 'Pro' ANYTHING, if you retire or quit doing it, are you still considered a 'Pro'?

YES

If and when I need to refer to my status in this way I describe myself as either an 'ex-pro' or a 'retired pro'.

I consider my present status to be 'amateur'; however, very occasionally you come across things like competitions where anybody who ever worked for money as a photographer is excluded -- that would put me out of the frame.

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Albert
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Super16mman
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Re: What is a 'Pro' Photographer, really?
In reply to fredphotog, 10 months ago

fredphotog wrote:

We discuss it here, we see people say 'I am no Pro..', but these folks take darned good photos.

So what make a 'Pro' a 'Pro'?

It used to be if you made 50% or more of your income from a 'hobby' then you were considered a 'Pro'.

Some folks think if you are published then you are a 'Pro'.

I see people with $20,000 in equipment call themselves a 'Pro' but create crappy work.

So TODAY, what makes a 'Pro'?

To me, I think if you put thought into your exact equipment, you plan your shot(s), you take care in framing, exposure, color, background, and you spend time in PP coming up with a good photograph, then you are a 'Pro', after all, normal people just take a P-A-S and 'go click' without regard to anything about the camera or subject matter.

It used to be a 'Pro' had that title tied to money, but I see a lot of 'Pros' publish good work for little or no money, so that doesn't fit in the discussions we have here once in awhile.

I see a lot of folks premise a picture with 'I'm no Pro', but these folks are doing awesome work - some of it better than a lot of the 'Pros' I know that make a living at it.

Thoughts?

One of  my mentors recently defined a pro as someone who takes the next step in his craft, who draws a line in the sand and will no longer do work for less than he's worth. A pro in his mind is basically someone who not only knows their craft but also knows their worth and won't compromise. This is why "pros" tend to be more successful than amateurs or enthusiasts. They quit taking the crap jobs and work hard to get payed what they deserve.

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donaldsc
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Re: If You are Paid Anything - You are a Pro
In reply to GeraldW, 10 months ago

GeraldW wrote:

In most sports, professional simply means you do it to earn money and are good enough to be in the upper reaches of the sport. In golf, it has a much more rigid definition. You become certified by the PGA as a touring or teaching professional. In photography, you can rent a store front, set up a studio, and hang out a sign saying John Doe, Professional Photographer.

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You may have to be sanctified  by the PGA to be a PGA touring or PGA teaching professional.  However, if you are paid anything by anyone for playing golf, you are a pro.  You probably are even a pro if you are a golf-shark who makes their living by playing golf with friends and who have side bets on the scores although this is probably a bit of a stretch.

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JP Scherrer
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Someone who makes a living out of his pics ?!?
In reply to fredphotog, 10 months ago

..... I don't !

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Aberaeron
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Re: At least 10% of your income comes from photography
In reply to sigala1, 10 months ago

sigala1 wrote:

fredphotog wrote:

We discuss it here, we see people say 'I am no Pro..', but these folks take darned good photos.

So what make a 'Pro' a 'Pro'?

It used to be if you made 50% or more of your income from a 'hobby' then you were considered a 'Pro'

So I say that if you have a day job, but you do photography on weekends and it's at least 10% of your total income, then it's more than just a hobby.

What if you own 100+ rental properties bringing in the best part of £1millionUK per year but spend 50% of your time taking commercial photos that bring in only £20,000 a year, which is only 2% of total annual income?

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sigala1
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Re: At least 10% of your income comes from photography
In reply to Aberaeron, 10 months ago

Aberaeron wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

fredphotog wrote:

We discuss it here, we see people say 'I am no Pro..', but these folks take darned good photos.

So what make a 'Pro' a 'Pro'?

It used to be if you made 50% or more of your income from a 'hobby' then you were considered a 'Pro'

So I say that if you have a day job, but you do photography on weekends and it's at least 10% of your total income, then it's more than just a hobby.

What if you own 100+ rental properties bringing in the best part of £1millionUK per year but spend 50% of your time taking commercial photos that bring in only £20,000 a year, which is only 2% of total annual income?

Then I say that you're a hobbyist.

Of course you are free to disagree... I just made up the 10% thing anyway.

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hea
hea
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If your main income comes from taking pictures, then you are a 'PRO"
In reply to fredphotog, 10 months ago

it is not related to artistry capability

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Aberaeron
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Re: At least 10% of your income comes from photography
In reply to sigala1, 10 months ago

sigala1 wrote:

Aberaeron wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

fredphotog wrote:

We discuss it here, we see people say 'I am no Pro..', but these folks take darned good photos.

So what make a 'Pro' a 'Pro'?

It used to be if you made 50% or more of your income from a 'hobby' then you were considered a 'Pro'

So I say that if you have a day job, but you do photography on weekends and it's at least 10% of your total income, then it's more than just a hobby.

What if you own 100+ rental properties bringing in the best part of £1millionUK per year but spend 50% of your time taking commercial photos that bring in only £20,000 a year, which is only 2% of total annual income?

Then I say that you're a hobbyist.

Of course you are free to disagree... I just made up the 10% thing anyway.

Even when making 20k per annum from it?

I might just agree with you though, which is why I mentioned in an earlier post, the importance of context.

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sigala1
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Re: At least 10% of your income comes from photography
In reply to Aberaeron, 10 months ago

Aberaeron wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

Aberaeron wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

fredphotog wrote:

We discuss it here, we see people say 'I am no Pro..', but these folks take darned good photos.

So what make a 'Pro' a 'Pro'?

It used to be if you made 50% or more of your income from a 'hobby' then you were considered a 'Pro'

So I say that if you have a day job, but you do photography on weekends and it's at least 10% of your total income, then it's more than just a hobby.

What if you own 100+ rental properties bringing in the best part of £1millionUK per year but spend 50% of your time taking commercial photos that bring in only £20,000 a year, which is only 2% of total annual income?

Then I say that you're a hobbyist.

Of course you are free to disagree... I just made up the 10% thing anyway.

Even when making 20k per annum from it?

I might just agree with you though, which is why I mentioned in an earlier post, the importance of context.

If Bill Gates takes up photography, for him it's a hobby no matter how much money he makes from it.

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pavi1
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Simple Minds
In reply to fredphotog, 10 months ago

This too simple for this many comments.

What is pro mechanic?

What is a pro football player?

What is a pro anything?

Simple answer: a person who makes their living from the activity in question. It has nothing to do with the quality of the product.

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enemjii
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Re: What is a 'Pro' Photographer, really?
In reply to bruxi, 10 months ago

bruxi wrote:

The one who takes photos for money. No relation to quality of work.

I say this because even though I am not a lawyer, I have guided my own lawyers on how to proceed on my cases. They are the professionals, but I was simply better than them even when they were charging $500 or so an hour.

Do you cut your own hair?

Wish I could

But my brother does. Does that count?

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Morris Sullivan
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Get certified (if available), otherwise earn money consistently.
In reply to Mark_A, 10 months ago

Mark_A wrote:

Laurentiu Todie wrote:

Paid or not, a pro delivers consistently good results.
It helps if the pro also has a distinguishable style, particularly good knowledge of the technology and history of the trade, but that isn't mandatory.

Hi Laurentiu,

For me, a pro is someone who derives a significant proportion of their income from photography.

Mark

I would say consistent, not "significant proportion". That would lead to a situation where a Dr. who makes 50k on the side shooting weddings was not a pro, and yet a fast food worker who makes 20k doing the same would be. Both would be as far as I'm concerned.

In my opinion professional photographers consistently make money from their work. But I have no extra level of respect for a professional photographers. It's just a job. It doesn't signify a level of quality. Some of them aren't very good.

If fields where there is actually a governing board (including photography in some areas) the title of professional, once earned, can imply a level of knowledge and ability. But absent that governing board, the term simply means "does whatever for money". Again I don't mean "did whatever for money once" I mean "does whatever for money".

btw, if someone wants to call themselves a professional photographer even if their not, I couldn't care less. It means nothing to me. Call yourself whatever you want. Your work speaks much louder than your title.

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OceanFroggie
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Re: What is a 'Pro' Photographer, really?
In reply to fredphotog, 10 months ago

A person whose primary income is earned from taking photographs.

Ie. is engaged in a "profession"

It has nothing to do with skill level, although one would assume most "pros" have good skills. Highly skilled and talented amateur/entusiasts are not pros.

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Rservello
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Re: What is a 'Pro' Photographer, really?
In reply to OceanFroggie, 10 months ago

OceanFroggie wrote:

A person whose primary income is earned from taking photographs.

Ie. is engaged in a "profession"

It has nothing to do with skill level, although one would assume most "pros" have good skills. Highly skilled and talented amateur/entusiasts are not pros.

And not all highly paid pros are skilled. **ahem, Terry Richardson**

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