The problem with photography as a profession in S'pore is that anyone, even a fresh grad with interest and "self-proclaimed passion" and no experience at all, can call himself/herself a pro... if he takes a wedding job and gets paid $50. Technically he IS a pro cos he gets paid.
The problem starts when the overzealous "pro" sets up shop and realises his "talent" isn't going to bring him any business. The real pros making good money seldom share their "secrets" preferring to let others find their own ways. Why should they willingly share their secrets and let the younger ones erode their market share? No one owes anyone a living.
Photography, from a technical point of view, isn't that hard to master. Anyone with dogged determination can learn to master the techniques. I used to have a very good veteran photographer working for me who is technically correct in terms of lighting etc like 90% of the time. He seldom gets it wrong. His problem? Lack of creativity and not knowing how to keep up with the times. He came to me once, asking me to help him look over his portfolio and remake his career. I looked at hundreds of his slides and advised him throw away his old stuff and start over. The stuff he has can NOT be shown to clients. Problem is, he doesn't get it. He walked away probably thinking I am jealous of his years of experience (and probably a much wider portfolio than me)... he forgot I was his boss. And quantity is not quality.
What cannot be taught (or learned from colleges of fine arts) are the soft skills - eg an eye for detail, how to tell what's good light, composition, balance, PR and communication skills, larger-than-life persona, how to dress, entertainer, joker, life-of-the-party, popular guy on the guest list of high-society parties etc. Yes, you hate all these things (I hear some photographers protesting), but then if you don't network, who will know about you?
My advice to all aspiring "pros" and those who really think they are good. Don't be a self-judge. Pitch your work to big MNCs and publishers worldwide to establish yourself and let your work stand out amongst the world's best. If you are really good, you will stand out. Look at folks like Ian Lloyd, etc. They started like a regular Joe snapping at scenes in a teeny island state of S'pore and have since gone international. Are there any more enterprising photographer/businessmen like him around? Unfortunately NO... or not many. For every one Russell Wongs, I can name you 10 dunno-who-they-are's walking around in a zombie-state with a Nikon D50 strung around their neck wondering if they will be evicted next month for failing to keep up the monthly rentals.
My best advice to aspiring "pros"... unless u r darned good (like the top 1% in your field and proven so... not just hearsay or simply because u think u r good), go get a proper job. When you have saved enough money as a regular employee and set aside some money for retirement, then act out your fantasy of being a pro photographer.
PS: Sorry if I don't sound too encouraging or negative and pls don't flame me. Just telling it as it is. Reality is tough.... but wake up to it.