After a long overtime shift and 7 hours at the Obama rally, I needed a little levity pick me up. We were discussing the "pro vs amateur" topic the other day. I've made money from my prints, but I'm not quitting my day (well, night) job yet. Anyway, there are amateurs who can take it off the green box and get great shots. However, a pro can turn the camera on and re-create the shots on a whim. They've done it so much that they know how to properly compose dang near any shot, at any time, anywhere. They know how to use light, or lack thereof, properly.
I don't really trust the whole, "I'm a paid photographer; therefore, I'm a professional." I've been a volunteer firefighter for 17 years now, as well as a paid one. I'm just as much as a "professional" than any full-time firefighter. I have the same skills and certifications. If someone is able to make a living as a photographer, that's great. I've seen some local photographers who make a decent living at it, and their quality is crap.
This is just my opinion!!! I think that the majority of professionalism is a state of mind and an attitude.