A professional photographer – what does it mean? Can someone become a professional photographer only by buying an expensive camera?
On the other hand there are people with expensive cameras and good lenses. They may shoot poorly, but they can shoot well. They maybe are at the top of some photo pages or they have few awards in photo contests. But that doesn’t make them professional photographers. The hallmark of a professional is his usefulness to society. And his usefulness is determined by the payment for his services. So, the professional photographer is a photographer, who takes pictures and get money for his pictures. That is obvious.
So, get me be clear. A professional photographer is that photographer who makes a living taking pictures. This means that both the monkey/bird/dolphin photographer is a professional photographer and a photographer who takes photos to passport is a professional photographer because they make their money by taking pictures. They don’t have to have an expensive camera and they don’t claim to take beautiful pictures, but they are still professional photographers. Because in those cases it’s their job. I gave you examples without the creative component of taking pictures. There are photographers who work on cruise ships, in hotels, in water parks etc. Their job is not so easy, sometime is hard job, but there’s still some creativity. Not every photographer is an artist.
What else distinguishes a professional photographer?
His attitude towards work. A real professional like his job. That means his desire to grow up, desire to make everything in the best way. By other words, a professional photographer always does his best when he works. First of all, he is responsible to himself. This means that he cannot afford to be flawed, even in details. The client may not notice many details. But for a professional, it is a matter of honor (the word forgotten today) to do a quality job. By the way, responsibility today is also not about honor. Many people who think of themselves as photographers (other professions as well), consider themselves “free to fly». Sometimes they want to give photos in 2 weeks, sometimes in 2 months. The issue is not a workload, but laziness. «I did some editing, but that’s ok, that’s how an artist sees it». Self-indulgence, irresponsibility and laziness – there are not the signs of a professional. Even if this person, unfortunately, gets paid for it.
The professional is a person who is responsible for his work, for the result, for the quality and for his words. it’s a rare phenomenon, isn’t?