What is a 'Pro' Photographer, really?

Started Feb 20, 2014 | Discussions thread
René Schuster Forum Pro • Posts: 14,180
Re: What is a 'Pro' Photographer, really?

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.


It depends on the country where you ask your question.

In Germany, being a "pro", no matter in what field, is always about school and education, apprentice, master, diploma, etc.

I can be a pro photographer without making a single dollar in that profession, but I can not call myself a pro photographer, no matter how much money I can make as a photographer, if I don't have the appropriate diploma. I could imagine the chamber of commerce would cause me a lot of trouble if I would call myself a photographer without actually being one.

One of the girls at work, a very good secretary, is actually not a secretary but a pro photographer. Even if my pictures are just as good, she is the photographer, the pro, I am not a photographer. I take pictures, my hobby is photography, but I am not a photographer.


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