What has being formally trained has taught me besides teaching me the technical aspects of photography is discipline.. The discipline to work to deadlines and layouts,,and to decypher clients' needs..
Four years at college were tough.. Every assignment either written or pictorial had to be followed to the letter.. Pictorial assignments your teacher became your client.. If you missed a deadline or waivered from the layout or written job discription by the nth degree you got a big fat red F..
There are many brilliant amateur photographers who are technically perfect and artistically creative but give them a layout or job description they'd fall apart..
Yep and it made me realize that consistency is one of the key ingredients to success.Its much easier to not be under a dead line or any pressure to get great images than to have to be creative on demand and the assignments and deadlines in college to help prepare you for that. CONSISTENCY is a key element to success. And your work needs to be on a high level along with a high degree of consistency. You are only as good as your last job. Screw it up or don't come back with what the client is looking for you'r probably not going to get another call from that client. And its a much smaller world out there than one might think.