Professional vs. Proficient

Started Nov 8, 2005 | Discussions thread
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Phileas Fogg
Phileas Fogg Senior Member • Posts: 2,553
Professional vs. Proficient

pro·fes·sion·al Pronunciation Key (pr-fsh-nl)


1. Of, relating to, engaged in, or suitable for a profession: lawyers, doctors, and other professional people.
2. Conforming to the standards of a profession: professional behavior.

2. Engaging in a given activity as a source of livelihood or as a career: a professional writer.
3. Performed by persons receiving pay: professional football.
4. Having or showing great skill; expert: a professional repair job.


1. A person following a profession, especially a learned profession.

2. One who earns a living in a given or implied occupation: hired a professional to decorate the house.
3. A skilled practitioner; an expert.

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pro·fi·cient Audio pronunciation of "proficient" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (pr-fshnt)

Having or marked by an advanced degree of competence, as in an art, vocation, profession, or branch of learning.


An expert; an adept.


Often is asked and debated here " What is a professional?"

We should clarify what a professional is but the difference between such and being proficient?

By definition anyone who earns income or a living from their labour is a professional, however that does not always mean they are proficient.

Being proficient in the field of photograohy is what seperates those who are good, do good and strive to be better. Proficient photographers become experts in their craft, that can be amateur or professional. The professional must also develope sound business skills. But instead of debating what is a pro, we should question how to become proficient.

Proficiency will make you a better photographer, be you an experienced amateur or a paid pro. Proficiency as a pro will mean you develope more than just shooting skills but the skills to run a sound business operation.

IMO, many think becoming a pro in photography is all about the gear, no it's about atttude. It does not matter that it's a Canon or Nikon, L glass and 1 series, or a 22 MP digi-Hassie or a Nikon D2x. Those are merely tools, some offer more flexibilty, and ability to make better images, some are tougher built, but a profient person will be an expert at using any tool available. They craft their skills and become better professionals. They do not argue or cry that one needs to spend tens of thousands of $$$. They do not go out and buy such without seeing the proper to their needs R.O.I. Return On Investment. It's not about that stuff. It is about attitude. Proficient persons of any trade will display an attitude that wins and betters their lives. From such may come better gear if need be, but to newbies out there, anyone telling you that you MUST have a 1 series or a digi-Hassie or $10,000 in glass etc. is a person you should be wary off. Success in business is the balance of spending to one's needs and maximising one's abiilty to make money. Once you achieve a balance as such you can always improve your gear and ancilaries aboved the bare requirements of course. There is a bare set of requirments in gear if one is to be a pro. Doubles of all things, lenses to suit your shooting style and range, but that does not mean the greehorn needs to buy $30,000+ on gear tomorrow. Time is your ally, but you must invest in your own mindset, proficiency is the key. From such all others will fall into place.

So lets not discuss what is a professinal, anyone makes a buck or two is a pro. Lets discuss proficiency and the attitudes that go along with such.

visit my photo gallary of images from my 10D

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