kfreels wrote in post #13760028
I had to do some errands a bit ago and something else about this struck me while in the car. I don't usually call myself a "driver". I put my own roof on my house but I don't call myself a roofer. I am remodeling my own house but I don't call myself a carpenter. I ran my own new 200 amp service panel and moved my meter (and passed inspection) but don't call myself an electrician. I teach my kids but don't call myself a teacher. I can repair computers but I'm not a computer technician. I fix my own cars but I don't call myself a mechanic.
In fact, I don't usually even refer to myself as a photographer. I did when I had my studio, but usually when you use an identifying word like that you're referring to your career. I usually refer to myself as a telecom account executive who is into photography. I used to be a photographer but I'm not now.
So when someone calls themselves a photographer I have a few expectations. I expect that they understand the fundamentals of photography. They understand light. They understand aperture, shutter speed, dynamic range, saturation, color balance, focal lengths and focus. I expect that they at the very least understand what causes red-eye and can eliminate it without a freaky pre-flash.
That's because you are doing all those tasks for yourself - a professional photographer is someone who photographs to make money (by providing output to others)
You have these expectations that you set prior to being able to call someone a professional photographer. Well I'm sorry but by what measure are your benchmarks appropriate? And that's the issue.
A dentist needs to earn a degree and work in a dental practice to be called a Dentist. A photographer does not. There is no pre-requisite to be called a Professional Photographer
Todd Lambert wrote:
Perhaps I did misunderstand. My point was not that amateurs were creating higher standards, but that their flooding the market has instead.
I agree with Todd - which is surprising given how much I disagreed about his views about IS.
In Wedding photography for example, there are so many 20-30 year veterans out there whose output is just boring boring boring. Photos taken at f/8, with a flash bracket. Just plain, boring stuff.
With the whole slew of Primes that amateurs are buying and using and posting on the internet, we see a huge spamming of shallow DOF photos, and I think the wedding industry has really adjusted to this. More and more photographers are using primes and doing low DOF stuff.
Preeb wrote in post #13760547
I see photography as having 3 fairly broad levels.
Professional: Someone who makes most or all of his living from photography. This group can include highly skilled craftsmen who have dedicated their lives to satisfying the needs of their clients, or beginners who are making the necessary effort to become highly skilled. It can also include duds who somehow manage to find paying clients who are even more clueless than they are. It can include those who do nothing but shoot babies in a booth in Walmart, and know nothing about photography beyond the conditions of that studio.
Amateur: These are more or less serious photographers who have made an effort to learn and employ at least the basics of exposure and composition. They may sell an occasional image or place in a contest, but don't derive any real income from it - these are also what I call real hobbyists. I include beginners who are serious about improving their skills by practice and education.
Snapshooter: People who simply take pictures for record keeping - family, vacation, etc. Usually use the camera on some automatic setting. Most snapshooters don't care about anything but the record, no matter how the quality may suffer. Occasionally you find one of these who has shot a friends wedding and thus believes in the fantasy that he's a professional (he may even spill over into the "dud" category above).
Its a simplification I know, but most people with a camera will fit into one or another of these 3 categories.
Good summary though I'd add that there are highly skilled craftsmen in the amateur branch as well.