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Thread: Who are we? What are you?

  1. #61

    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Just my own opinion.
    Of coz holding a DSLR, doesn't make you a professional photographer.
    A professional photographer doesn't mean you are always better too.
    Amateur, hobbyist, freelancer, professional, etc. are just terms we use.
    Even if you are just a freelancer when people ask you to shoot a wedding, you should
    be responsible and do your best. Important thing is we must practice professionalism and take pride in the thing we do.

  2. #62

    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max 2.8
    Dude, its hard to go out and tell your customer you are an amatuer or hobbist and want them to give you the job. Its all about marketing yourself, rather than a title to make one feels good.
    max, you have a point. but that does not means many of wannabe professional photographers really have no business hawking their so call skill to potential customers/ What skill.

    Granted, some work hard, acquired the skills, learned the trade, and truly work their way up to become a professional. Too bad, this does not apply to most of the aspiring professionals.
    deadpoet
    my portfolio

  3. #63

    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jemapela
    Judging by what Deadpoet has been writing in ClubSnap, I'm confident to say that he has a sharp mind and often an equally sharp tongue (by exercising free speech which some might not be able to tolerate). Personally, I have nothing against Deadpoet and like to read what he blatantly writes.

    This thread is another good one about a trend which I'm sure many of us have observed ourselves but remained quiet until Deadpoet decided to pen down his thoughts.

    I don't believe S'pore is the only country in the world whose citizens don't want to earn money on the side. It's worldwide, and I also see it here in Australia too but the trend appears to be more feverish in S'pore. Perhaps, S'poreans don't have enough money because they aren't paid well enough? (I'm not asking for an answer to this question.)

    Quite expectedly, some ClubSnap members kindly contributed dictionary definitions (although I don't see how much it helps in this discussion). Anybody who owns a dictionary can easily distinguish 2 possible definitions of the word "professional", and I won't bother repeating them here. Personally, I feel that this is the real problem -- having 2 meanings.

    For a long long time, I have already noticed how this could create conflict among some photographers. Those who studied and graduated with a degree in photography should have every right to call themselves professionals. Those who perform photography for a living (with or without that degree) and earn more than 50% of their income, can also rightly call themselves professionals.

    Back in the days when I was very much a hobbyist, I didn't want to readily call myself a photographer. I just said I like taking photos. As time went by, after doing some events, I gave myself that title but never called myself a professional (because of how the dictionary defined it).

    Even though I'm now employed as photographer (and earn all of my salary by performing photography), I don't want to call myself a professional. It's because I'm not a trained expert (I don't have a photography degree) and humbly, won't proclaim myself too strongly as an expert. Instead, I prefer to call myself an "experienced" photographer, and this naturally would confuse many.

    On the other hand, I'm just as confused myself. Here's why.

    At work, I earn a salary to photograph what paying customers want. This salary puts food in my mouth and keeps myself under a solid roof. I could be considered a professional but to confuse you more, I'm not even employed full-time. Away from work, I often photograph models privately/leisurely on a "I shoot what I like" basis without being paid. I could be considered an amateur.

    It's like switching modes.

    When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I'm a photographer but I can't decide if I'm a professional or an amateur. I almost always don't use the word "professional" and replace it with "do it for a living". When away from work, I say I'm an "amateur" or "just a hobby".

    You don't get it do you?

    So do I.

    Sorry for causing anyone brain cramps.
    Dont be humble leh!

    1 You are a professional, because that is your profession. Your subsistence depends on it. Whether you "deviate" from your profefssional commitments to photograph "things you like" is another matter.

    2 And I would surmise that the works you produce in your professional capacity must be of a professional standard - consistently. Whether the works are "great art" is another matter. But they must meet the needs of your clients - otherwise you will not survive very long.

  4. #64

    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by student
    Dont be humble leh!

    1 You are a professional, because that is your profession. Your subsistence depends on it. Whether you "deviate" from your profefssional commitments to photograph "things you like" is another matter.

    2 And I would surmise that the works you produce in your professional capacity must be of a professional standard - consistently. Whether the works are "great art" is another matter. But they must meet the needs of your clients - otherwise you will not survive very long.
    To quote myself - and then give another story.

    I am not a professional, because when people look at my work, they will not pay me to take their portraits, even though I do have some very nice equipments. So showing my "fierce" equipment" does not make me a professional.

    I am not a professional because my works are not "professional" - at least not consistently. SOME of my works may be thought of as having a resemblance of "professional" standard - but they are likely the result of fortuitous luck smiling on me.

    So, I am not a professional. I remain an amateur.

  5. #65

    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    The reason why many like to self proclaim as "professionals" is the same as why many claim that it's the photographer that matters and not the equipment but indirectly contradict themselves with the equipment they buy and use.

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Deadpoet, since you started this thread, can you please explain your definition of a "professional photograher"? What does it mean? What does it take? What is this all about?

    I read through the whole thread, but did not find a clear definition from you.

    Surely, you are not happy with some people claiming to be professional photographer because you think they are actually not qualified for that title. So that must mean that you have a set of measurement standards for that title. I am interested to know how you define a professional photographer.

    It does not matter if your definition contain some grey areas. I just like to know if your definition is biased more towards percentage income, image quality, equipment quality, or time spent on earning money from photograhy services.

    I don't think there can be a definition that is accepted by everybody, and that is the whole reason behind this thread.
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

  7. #67

    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by student
    Dont be humble leh!

    1 You are a professional, because that is your profession. Your subsistence depends on it. Whether you "deviate" from your profefssional commitments to photograph "things you like" is another matter.

    2 And I would surmise that the works you produce in your professional capacity must be of a professional standard - consistently. Whether the works are "great art" is another matter. But they must meet the needs of your clients - otherwise you will not survive very long.
    Personally, I feel that it's best to strike that delicate balance between being proud and humble at the same time about our skills. This is a very difficult balance to achieve.

    Away from my work, I'm proud of myself for privately producing some images of certain themes/genres which I'm sure some others would like to produce but can't due to conservatism, fear, lack of talents/resources. However, at other times, or with my other mediocre images, I find myself humble.

    No, I don't think I produce "great art" but I'm sure I meet most of my customers' needs. When I look at my mediocre and tacky crap I'm commanded to shoot at work, I'm humble. Strangely, when customers pass word of mouth to their friends to request for me (as if I'm some fantastic prostitute to have a go with), I'm just that little bit flattered (or proud).
    Last edited by Jemapela; 18th January 2006 at 08:48 AM.

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereobox
    sad will be the day when ALL "real professionals" are pushed out of the market by the "hit-n-runners", instead of the other way around.
    I think this will be very hard to realise...

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by obewan
    Just my own opinion.
    Of coz holding a DSLR, doesn't make you a professional photographer.
    A professional photographer doesn't mean you are always better too.
    Amateur, hobbyist, freelancer, professional, etc. are just terms we use.
    Even if you are just a freelancer when people ask you to shoot a wedding, you should
    be responsible and do your best. Important thing is we must practice professionalism and take pride in the thing we do.
    It doesn't? Damn... and I thought by saving up for a D2X I can be a PRO






  10. #70
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    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by student
    So, I am not a professional. I remain an amateur.
    A rich one too

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by roygoh
    Deadpoet, since you started this thread, can you please explain your definition of a "professional photograher"? What does it mean? What does it take? What is this all about?

    I read through the whole thread, but did not find a clear definition from you.
    I thought he did highlight out Plofessional Fotografers are those that make a living out of fotograpfy?

  12. #72

    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by student
    To quote myself - and then give another story.

    I am not a professional, because when people look at my work, they will not pay me to take their portraits, even though I do have some very nice equipments. So showing my "fierce" equipment" does not make me a professional.

    I am not a professional because my works are not "professional" - at least not consistently. SOME of my works may be thought of as having a resemblance of "professional" standard - but they are likely the result of fortuitous luck smiling on me.

    So, I am not a professional. I remain an amateur.
    You are not alone.

    Over the years, I have observed that most people you meet won't quickly offer you money for your portrait photography. In all good common sense that I have, I believe it's because most people aren't vain enough to part with their money for photos. They would rather spend it on new clothes, new hairdo, pubbing/clubbing (especially here with Aussies). Paying to have themselves photographed isn't top on their wish-list. Similarly, most people wouldn't put buying personal insurance on top of their wish-list.

    Similarly I have some good looking (but not top end) equipment myself. I agree with you that brandishing and flashing it around doesn't make me (or you or anyone) a professional too. I still strongly believe it's what you shoot and produce with your gear which earns you rank, respect and fame.

    For over a decade, I have seen many S'porean photographers (mostly and probably hobbyists and amateurs I'm assuming but maybe not) producing images of pretty-girl-smiling-in-the-park-wearing-fashion-themes (oh really is there even a theme?) 24/7/365 for years. Some of them use top-end cameras and high-grade glass and call themselves "professionals" which I find questionable.

    In their presence, I'm humbled (and shut up) by their pricey equipment. Behind their backs after seeing their p-g-s-i-t-p-w-f shots, I know I'm (in some sense) a little bit better. (Being humble again.)
    Last edited by Jemapela; 18th January 2006 at 09:13 AM.

  13. #73
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123
    In what way were you disturbed?
    Why?


    I ban on my head onto the wall lor.


    Spending twenty years, still unable to charge $1800 for a three hours product shoot!!


    Maybe I should be listen to my wife, do something else, or like be a taxi driver, than I can shoot whenever and whatever I want, and charge PROFESSIONALLY.

  14. #74

    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote," Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase." Unquote - Percy W. Harris

  15. #75
    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    Why?


    I ban on my head onto the wall lor.


    Spending twenty years, still unable to charge $1800 for a three hours product shoot!!


    Maybe I should be listen to my wife, do something else, or like be a taxi driver, than I can shoot whenever and whatever I want, and charge PROFESSIONALLY.
    aiya, i believe he delivers each time he's asked to shoot la. remember its never about the equipment? its the man behind the camera that counts! give him a P'n'S and he'll deliver because he's that good! yeah!!!

    S$1.8k for 3hrs is no joke! the ppl who used his services knows they're getting top notch photography. i believe these ppl are definitely from the higher rung society and have large budgets!

    hope to see him sharing his work with us, so that we can learn something. i'll be happy to charge S$100/hr. paiseh, my level not quite there yet... to command even S$1k for 1day's shoot...
    You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!

  16. #76
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesecake
    aiya, i believe he delivers each time he's asked to shoot la. remember its never about the equipment? its the man behind the camera that counts! give him a P'n'S and he'll deliver because he's that good! yeah!!!

    S$1.8k for 3hrs is no joke! the ppl who used his services knows they're getting top notch photography. i believe these ppl are definitely from the higher rung society and have large budgets!

    hope to see him sharing his work with us, so that we can learn something. i'll be happy to charge S$100/hr. paiseh, my level not quite there yet... to command even S$1k for 1day's shoot...
    No, No, No, please don't be mistaken, I won't be bother about what gears that I use or any people use, the results are matter.


    What I would like to say is maybe I shouldn't practice photography professionally, but charge my service “PROFESSIONALLY”.

  17. #77
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    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    I thought he did highlight out Plofessional Fotografers are those that make a living out of fotograpfy?
    Which post?

    Making a living out of photography is too vague. How many percent of a person's income must come from photography before he qualifies? 50% or 100%? Can a professional photographer have other income, say from investment or maybe even driving taxi part time?

    I don't think anyone can draw a clear line between profesisonal and non professional photographers, and I am not saying that Deadpoet has drawn the line incorrectly. I am just interested to know how he differentiates between pro and non pro.
    Last edited by roygoh; 18th January 2006 at 09:38 AM.
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

  18. #78
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by roygoh
    Which post?

    Making a living out of photography is too vague. How many percent of a person's income must come from photography before he qualifies? Can a professional photographer have other income, say from investment or maybe even driving taxi part time?
    be a taxi driver and charging photography service “PROFESSIONALLY”, is what I thinking next.

  19. #79

    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by roygoh
    Deadpoet, since you started this thread, can you please explain your definition of a "professional photograher"? What does it mean? What does it take? What is this all about?
    I read through the whole thread, but did not find a clear definition from you.
    Surely, you are not happy with some people claiming to be professional photographer because you think they are actually not qualified for that title. So that must mean that you have a set of measurement standards for that title. I am interested to know how you define a professional photographer.
    It does not matter if your definition contain some grey areas. I just like to know if your definition is biased more towards percentage income, image quality, equipment quality, or time spent on earning money from photograhy services.
    I don't think there can be a definition that is accepted by everybody, and that is the whole reason behind this thread.
    My defination of a "professional", is grey, like most things on earth, nothing is black and white. Since you asked, I will try to define it as best as I can, along line of these 3 querstions you posted.

    What does it take?
    A professional must achieve a minimum level of competence, and this minimum level should be set high, as expectation is higher than what is expected vis-a-vis the general public. A professional must be able to deliver whatever is required. A professional must know how to operate all the equipment that is needed for his or her crafts.

    What does it mean?
    A professional means he or she makes a living off his or her crafts. Someone working full time and getting 100% income from the craft definately qualifies. The grey area is for those working less than full time, and getting less than 100% of their income from the craft. I do not have a cut off in mind what the % should be, but it should be meaningful.

    What is this all about?
    A professional is someone who competence is high, who makes meaningful amount of money from the craft. Must have both to qualify, and must also have the following - must treat this endeavour as a business, understand the business side of the trade/craft. This can be self-employed or employed by a company, either way is fine.
    deadpoet
    my portfolio

  20. #80

    Default Re: Who are we? What are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    It doesn't? Damn... and I thought by saving up for a D2X I can be a PRO





    It won't turns u into a PRO. But at least will make you look like one...

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