What is a 'Pro' Photographer, really?

Started Feb 20, 2014 | Discussions thread
CharlesB58 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,975
Re: Why does it matter so much?

Mark_A 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'.

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.


fredphotog, why does it matter so much?

There are amateurs and professionals producing very mixed work, some excellent some rubbish.

I had a period of paid photography so I could have claimed then that I was a pro.

I have been a photographer for about 14 years so I am no beginner, but I would also not yet claim to be expert.

If people want to call themselves pro, when you might think they are not, does it really matter?


Perhaps because photography has an odd circumstance in which many people assume that if they have "pro gear" it means they are going to produce better photos than those with "amateur gear"? Or maybe it has to do with the narcissism and competitiveness of many people who use cameras, who often resort to trying to bolster their arguments for or against certain gear by saying "Pros demand..."?

Technically, a person in the Wal-Mart photo studio is a pro because she/he earns her/his living taking photos. Last one I spoke to basically only knew how to set up the camera and lights and had memorized the pose page.

So yeah, for me it really is a "So what?" since by definition I'm not a pro, but I am a "working photographer" who provides/sells images for clients.

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If, in my lifetime, I will have produced just one image that makes a real difference in the life of another, I will have achieved my highest goal as a photographer.

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