What validates someone as a professional photographer?

1 month 3 weeks ago #661640 by Chase Audate
Just thinking about terms used in photography, what makes someone a professional photographer?  I've seen some say it's when you are making money from photography.  But that doesn't clarify things so much.  So if you made $50 bucks consistently per week from photography, that can't be the same as $500 or $5000 per week.  But all can be said to "make money".  Actually as I type this, perhaps it's making enough to support a living?  But then again, someone can make a living and have sub par work right?  So how would that person be a professional?  

Can you clarify this for me?  


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1 month 3 weeks ago #661641 by Nikon Shooter
Making a living out of it is the new thing behind "pro".

It is the expectations and experience of a given levels of
photographers that meant something to me.

Nowadays, the vocable "pro" is more a marketing trend,

Light is free… capturing it is not!
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1 month 3 weeks ago #661654 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day Chase

In the early 1970s, back when I was in my mid-20s and new into a that city, I chased up several of the professional photographers with offers of my skills and seeking employment. In answer to my basic Q of "how many professional photographers are operating here?" the answer was ... 'about half' ~ the rest are earning money via regular jobs,

It meant back then that in the city of 1/4-million population, there were 2 or 3 "professional" photographers and many camera operators employed by media and so on, and even more skilled amateurs making a few dollars from their hobby

Probably not much has changed today either :)

Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/


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1 month 3 weeks ago #661655 by effron
Its been discussed to death. I say, if someone calls themself a pro, they're a pro. The only authority other than them may be the IRS. I personally don't care.

Why so serious?
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1 month 3 weeks ago #661797 by garyrhook
How about we lose the word "photographer" and define the term "professional"? Can you start there? Because until you do, there's nothing to discuss.

I just had a conversation this week with a young person about career development, and my first question was, "define 'professional'?"

Someone that can deliver a known product reliably, on time, repeatedly (on demand).

Does that work for you?

Notice that quality doesn't enter into it. Because a product can exist at different quality levels.

It's a short hop from there to noting that there are lots of photographers that deliver images of varying levels, and some of them get paid well, others poorly. I don't see much connection between "Pro" and "lucrative" and I don't think there should be.

So I'll counter your question with, "why does it matter?" I call myself a photographer, and I'm fortunate that I get paid for some of my work. Other work is for me. But running a business and making a living at photography has nothing to do with "professional".

All IMNSHO, of course. I could be wrong.


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1 month 3 weeks ago - 1 month 3 weeks ago #661818 by effron

effron wrote: Its been discussed to death. I say, if someone calls themself a pro, they're a pro. The only authority other that then may be the IRS. I personally don't care.


That was an edit

Why so serious?
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1 month 3 weeks ago #662234 by michaelsmith
I think the following points would make me validtae someone as a professional
  • Obviously, they should be able to take good photos and I would like to see some versatility as well
  • I expect them to have at least a couple of great camera bodies (mostly I have seen all of them here with the 5D) and a decent lens collection along with a bunch of gear
  • They should be consistently earning some kind of money from their photography
  • They have a portfolio on their website, social media (FB & Instagram) and portfolio websites,


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1 month 2 weeks ago #662414 by Ted Helm
Yep, someone who is making a living from photography.


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1 month 2 weeks ago #662709 by ShutterGuy
+1 Consistently getting paid and making a living from it. 

The KEY word to everyones answers is 'consistently'.  

Gary - solid answer right there.  


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1 month 2 weeks ago #662857 by Paul Velasco
Hey guys, what back office software are you using?


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1 month 2 weeks ago #662862 by effron
Smart desq back office

Why so serious?
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No one kicks up there feet next to the water cooler better than this person.  Top poster - LoungeLounge Guru
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