What defines as a "Pro" in photography?


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jsbn

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#1
Well, I'd seen ppl (rich ppl) holding Professional Camera Equipments, SLRs and strutting around taking photos. On a personal note, their photos turn out to be rather medicore, yet, they look and criticise about other ppl's photos commenting that it looks "like an ameuter" and silly stuff like dat.

I am rather curious about the definition of a "Professional". I noe dis topic had been debated to death, to hell, to heaven and to earth. But den, exactly, can anyone really declare oneself as "Professional" juz becos of some "Professional Level Equipment" one owns?

Or is this term "Professional Photographer" coined for those who take really outstanding photos and not by the equipment they own?

Personally, I think dat there's no one really fit to be called a "Professional" judging by the equipment they own or by the photo they take, since there's always room for improvement and of cos, the journey to learning never ceases. Whilst we exchange tips and give suggestions on improving the next shot. One can never say, "Your photo looks like an ameuter! Take something decent will ya?" since his pictures will probably look ameuterish to other ppl with better skill levels!

Not a flame bait if everyone talks it in an amicable language. :) So mods, feel free to lock it or trash it if u smell gasoline fumes here!
 

BraveHart

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Well...to me a Pro (as in Professional) photographer is one who makes his living out of Photography, or one who might not be doing photography full time but still gets paid for taking pictures on a regular basis (i.e Freelance).

Of course...there are variations in skill, natural aptitude and commitment even among pros....

As for amateurs who take "professional-standard" photos, I would rather call them good photographers rather than "pro" photographers.
 

ivor

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#3
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:


Originally posted by BraveHart
Well...to me a Pro (as in Professional) photographer is one who makes his living out of Photography, or one who might not be doing photography full time but still gets paid for taking pictures on a regular basis (i.e Freelance).

Of course...there are variations in skill, natural aptitude and commitment even among pros....

As for amateurs who take "professional-standard" photos, I would rather call them good photographers rather than "pro" photographers.
 

jsbn

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#4
Originally posted by BraveHart
Well...to me a Pro (as in Professional) photographer is one who makes his living out of Photography, or one who might not be doing photography full time but still gets paid for taking pictures on a regular basis (i.e Freelance).

Of course...there are variations in skill, natural aptitude and commitment even among pros....

As for amateurs who take "professional-standard" photos, I would rather call them good photographers rather than "pro" photographers.
Hmm... How abt an ameuter who struts around wif Professional-level Equipment and acting like one wif self-admittedly lousy photography unwilling to seek proper advice and suggestions frm others?

Sad to say, such are the ppl who really damage the image of Photographers, Professionals and Photo Enthusiasts alike. :(
 

zekai

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#5
sad to say there will always be ppl like that.

personally i think we should all be more humble.

instead of criticizing the pic as mediocre a more constructive approach would be to offer improvement tips insteads.

ignore the others who put you down.

Thanks to all fellow members who have been patient all these time.
 

ivor

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#6
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Originally posted by zekai
sad to say there will always be ppl like that.

personally i think we should all be more humble.

instead of criticizing the pic as mediocre a more constructive approach would be to offer improvement tips insteads.

ignore the others who put you down.

Thanks to all fellow members who have been patient all these time.
 

jsbn

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#9
Hmm... If "Professional" is defined by the type of equipment u own, give me $100 buy Toto. I kena $1,000,000 and den get a Lecia and a Canon SLR (or dat $14K Nikon SLR) with Telephoto Lens and call myself "Professional".

If ppl were to think this way, it's outright lame and immatured. Kinda like saying, "Hey look! I am rich! So I muz be better and smarter den u!"
 

Ian

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#10
Owning professional level equipment does not make you a professional photographer, it merley makes you a well equipped amateur and in many cases a clueless wonder (a person who rushes out buys the best gear and then starts to learn how to make a good photograph).

A professional photographer is a person who makes either their entire living or the majority of their living from photography. In most cases this by its very definition means being a full time photographer.

Those who earn a few bucks (even a couple of thousand) doing the odd event or wedding are not professional photographers, at best they can be termed semi-professional.


"Freelance" is an often abused term and one that very few people really understand it seems. To understand the concept of freelance photographers one has to know a bit of history of professional photography during the period of about 1930 to 1970 or so. This period saw the rise and eventual decline of large scale wedding photography, in particular in the USA post WW-II. These outfits employed large numbers of photographers under exclusive contract and often dominated their local market and offered a comprehensive package service combining studio, wedding ceremony and reception etc in to a single affordable package. This period was also the heyday of the press photographer as larger newspapers and magazines had usually had dozens of full time photographers on their books.

It was during this period that the 'freelancer' was born, he or she was a person who wasn't tied down to via contract to one of these organisations and was free to pickup work where and how they saw fit.
 

kiama

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#11
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Originally posted by Ian
Owning professional level equipment does not make you a professional photographer, it merley makes you a well equipped amateur and in many cases a clueless wonder (a person who rushes out buys the best gear and then starts to learn how to make a good photograph).

A professional photographer is a person who makes either their entire living or the majority of their living from photography. In most cases this by its very definition means being a full time photographer.

Those who earn a few bucks (even a couple of thousand) doing the odd event or wedding are not professional photographers, at best they can be termed semi-professional.


"Freelance" is an often abused term and one that very few people really understand it seems. To understand the concept of freelance photographers one has to know a bit of history of professional photography during the period of about 1930 to 1970 or so. This period saw the rise and eventual decline of large scale wedding photography, in particular in the USA post WW-II. These outfits employed large numbers of photographers under exclusive contract and often dominated their local market and offered a comprehensive package service combining studio, wedding ceremony and reception etc in to a single affordable package. This period was also the heyday of the press photographer as larger newspapers and magazines had usually had dozens of full time photographers on their books.

It was during this period that the 'freelancer' was born, he or she was a person who wasn't tied down to via contract to one of these organisations and was free to pickup work where and how they saw fit.
 

sriram

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#12
You are a pro if you have at least two heavy F5 / 1V / D1x / etc bodies slung around your neck / shoulder and treat them very rough. Of course, anything less than a $2000 f/2.8 zoom lens is an insult and you are not a pro. You should also have a very dirty stinking old Domke bag which you swear by. The cameras should be covered with duct tape and / or scratches... that is the mark of a real pro.

The other breed of pro carries a couple of Leicas, one with a 21mm lens prefocused at 3-4m and set to f/5.6-8, and another with the usual normal lens. This type will spit at any other camera brand and rave about the esoteric qualities of the Leica 3D look till the heat death of the universe. He probably doesn't have any film inside and probably doesn't even realize it.

When I was at Suntec last week at a conference, I saw this guy with TWO Nikon bodies, one SB28 and another potato masher grip mount flash all mounted on ONE rig he was carrying around... probably custom made. His setup would probably weigh 6+ kgs. Oh, and this guy was also carrying around a ladder.
 

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#13
Originally posted by jsbn
Hmm... How abt an ameuter who struts around wif Professional-level Equipment and acting like one wif self-admittedly lousy photography unwilling to seek proper advice and suggestions frm others?

Sad to say, such are the ppl who really damage the image of Photographers, Professionals and Photo Enthusiasts alike. :(
Well, to me these are POSERS :devil:
 

Parchiao

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#15
Originally posted by jsbn
Hmm... How abt an ameuter who struts around wif Professional-level Equipment and acting like one wif self-admittedly lousy photography unwilling to seek proper advice and suggestions frm others?

Sad to say, such are the ppl who really damage the image of Photographers, Professionals and Photo Enthusiasts alike. :(
You jokers sound like as if your baseless remarks are not doing Photographers, Professionals and Photo Enthusiasts alike any good either.

When someone has better equiptment, he/she has earned his/her right to carry around tht expensive piece of equiptment, whether the equiptment is used for the occassional snap shots, or for just carrying around. However they acquired their expensive equiptment and however they use it is their prerogative, and not for you to comment.

:D
 

Adam Goi

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#16
Originally posted by Parchiao
You jokers sound like as if your baseless remarks are not doing Photographers, Professionals and Photo Enthusiasts alike any good either.

When someone has better equiptment, he/she has earned his/her right to carry around tht expensive piece of equiptment, whether the equiptment is used for the occassional snap shots, or for just carrying around. However they acquired their expensive equiptment and however they use it is their prerogative, and not for you to comment.
Based on what I have read, he seems to be referring to a small pocket of individuals who exhibit such charateristics... so relax! ;)
 

YSLee

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#17
Originally posted by Parchiao
You jokers sound like as if your baseless remarks are not doing Photographers, Professionals and Photo Enthusiasts alike any good either.

When someone has better equiptment, he/she has earned his/her right to carry around tht expensive piece of equiptment, whether the equiptment is used for the occassional snap shots, or for just carrying around. However they acquired their expensive equiptment and however they use it is their prerogative, and not for you to comment.
Ooooo.. touched a raw nerve there, have we? Perhaps he was too close to the truth for your comfort?
 

Ian

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#18
Originally posted by AdamGoi
Based on what I have read, he seems to be referring to a small pocket of individuals who exhibit such charateristics... so relax! ;)
Adam .. exactly.
 

Fizzy

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#19
A pro is someone whose trash bin filled with discarded photos is larger than amateurs'?
 

Parchiao

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#20
Originally posted by YSLee
Ooooo.. touched a raw nerve there, have we? Perhaps he was too close to the truth for your comfort?
I added a big grin :D to my earlier post, does it look less serious now? Dun worry for me, cause the equiptment that I own costs far less than many of you.

My intention was to point out that we should not go about making general statements with little to no facts, and start criticising the details by adding sugar and spice and all things 'un-nice'.

If others criticise you, but yet they can only manage mediocre photographs themselves, then go ahead and criticise them for their rude behaviour. But dun go about and vent your disgust on their equiptment. The posts above do not distinguish between the two, but add seems to imply that anybody who use equiptment that professional photographers normally use behave in this manner.

I dun know how any of you could have possibly missed this point.
 

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