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keith selmes
20 Sep 2010 - 1:38 PM

I use a webcam in my job, so I must be a professional photographer Grin

In fact a lot of people do use a camera or camcorder in their work now, along with varying amounts of processing with psp, photoshop, movie maker etc., so you almost need a sort of "user"category for people who wouldn't call themselves photographers, but do it anyway, in the same way they're not typists, but still spend a lot of time typing.

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JackAllTog
JackAllTog e2 Member 53581 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
20 Sep 2010 - 2:07 PM

Enthusiast, happy to go full manual when time permits (or compromise on Aperture mode with +/- Exposure compensation to take faster moving shots). No Sales - so thats my year one ambition gone :-(
Don't want to even consider going full on Pro - need more experiance and better/backup kit to reliably deliver to customers.
But as an Enthusiast who keeps trying for improvements in camera body stability, correct DOF, better colours, and sharper better initially framed photos....
But also as an Enthusiast, never finding enough time or space or location to stretch my ideas as far as i want.
My classification aim is to envoke some emotive response to my photo's - Whether just enjoying them as good, or cute, or bold, or interesting, or shocking, etc. (though sometimes i just end up recording scenes :-/ )
When i've got most of that sussed in some genre, then maybe i'll try semi pro. Smile

csurry
csurry  129230 forum posts92 Constructive Critique Points
20 Sep 2010 - 2:08 PM

Lying in bed reading the replies. Good job I'd booked an extra few days off work. Work that is as an IT consultant.

Nick made a point about the amount of time I spend doing photography, again a perception presumably borne out of posts on here. I went to Scotland in February and the apart from one falconry day did no shoots until June. One week in aviemore for the osprey and one week in Finland. Nothing else planned this year at the moment.

Partially started this because of the thread on the other site and partially as I had seen someone suggesting splitting the gallery on similar lines.

So in terms of wildlife, well I am a photographer of wildflie, but not a wildlife photographer. The difference being that with the little amount of time I can fully dedicate to photography I don't have the time, resources or field craft to find many subjects of my own.

In landscape I am below beginner as I have no interest, similarly with portraits.

So I agree should we classify purely on income. Well professional sportsmen are defined on this basis alone, so I guess from the days of amateur athletics and tennis it spills over in to other areas of life.

Maybe the qualification needs to relate to knowledge of equipment rather than genre:
Beginner
Skilled
Expert

In which case I would put myself in the middle as there is so much equipment I know very little about how to use it, the flashguns and studio flash for example.

Anyway keep going and I'll check back later.

strawman
strawman  1022006 forum posts United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
20 Sep 2010 - 3:10 PM

I view myself as pub photographer, I do a bit of this a bit of that, sometimes its OK sometimes its ****, sometimes I know something about it, others not. To be honest I do it for relaxation, self gratification and other selfish reasons. Hang on does that make me a ............

No lets not go there lest I get the honest reply.

Enjoy your day in bed, I have just forced myself up suffering from terrible man flue stuff. Feeling better now or is that the ibuprofen high.!!!

To be serious, after meeting you, my view is you are an expert enthusiast in the wildlife area.

Last Modified By strawman at 20 Sep 2010 - 3:10 PM
NevP
NevP  9853 forum posts Canada13 Constructive Critique Points
20 Sep 2010 - 3:12 PM

I am very happy to confess that I am a photo enthusiast, a hobbyist, a shutterbug. I earn my living from photography but that does not stop me from undertaking personal work and personal projects. Generally speaking a client will have some idea of how they would like the final image/s to look and be finished. The finished work is always a collaboration a melding of ideas. But when I am making shots for myself its an entirely different thing. Its completely my work, my interpretation and my criteria that must be satisfied. Generally my over riding criteria is that the images have gone or are going in some new direction. Often that means trying new lenses, different techniques in the taking of the moment or a different method of post production. I find this beneficial in a couple of ways I am continually learning and experimenting, pushing my creativity, and I have more to offer my clients, different looks, different tools and hopefully a fresh perspective. Am I a professional? Absolutely. Am I an enthusiast? RESOLUTELY.

brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 1110227 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
20 Sep 2010 - 3:26 PM

Since we are playing "What Am I" how about another way of defining where we are:

- Highest level of competence, setting leading examples of the genre
- Competent, understands all aspects of using their photographic equipment to consistently produce the desired images
- Intermediate competence, can use their equipment to get the desired results most of the time but still finds times when they struggle
- beginner, has to work in "Green Box" mode but can see the images they want produce and is reading the manual to get more control

AND FINALLY:

- all the gear and no idea: is able to talk endlessly about the latest technlogy and sound as if they know what they are doing but struggles to find the on switch of their camera! Tongue

Last Modified By brian1208 at 20 Sep 2010 - 3:27 PM
javam
javam  91083 forum posts United Kingdom19 Constructive Critique Points
20 Sep 2010 - 3:41 PM


Quote: Since we are playing "What Am I" how about another way of defining where we are:

- Highest level of competence, setting leading examples of the genre
- Competent, understands all aspects of using their photographic equipment to consistently produce the desired images
- Intermediate competence, can use their equipment to get the desired results most of the time but still finds times when they struggle
- beginner, has to work in "Green Box" mode but can see the images they want produce and is reading the manual to get more control

AND FINALLY:

- all the gear and no idea: is able to talk endlessly about the latest technlogy and sound as if they know what they are doing but struggles to find the on switch of their camera! Tongue

Like the reasoning, but again can only be applied to a combination of tog and genre (unless there really is a master of everything out there) and there is no way around that which I can see. Hence the reasoning for most going by level of earning I suspect.

Taking myself for example I am competent at Airshow photography, have intermediate competence at landscapes and I would have to go for beginner at everything else so do I take an average or mislead by taking my highest level out of context?

Neil

brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 1110227 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
20 Sep 2010 - 3:56 PM

Why not set an average for equipment handling + max / min competence for specific genres? eg: competent at handling kit for Airshow imagery, intermediate for use with landscape photography and beginner for all else? (Ba Gum - I could have been a Civil Servant! Tongue )

At the end of the day - tis only a bit of fun for most of us (isn't it?)

javam
javam  91083 forum posts United Kingdom19 Constructive Critique Points
20 Sep 2010 - 4:20 PM


Quote: At the end of the day - tis only a bit of fun for most of us (isn't it?)

For me, currently, yes. I would like to reach a level where it pays for itself so I guess 'semi-pro', but I am not precious about the label and I do not need to set an expectation as I don't take on any commissions. On that basis perhaps the only label that should be treated seriously and be well defined is 'Pro' as that sets an expectation for output and ability that needs to be backed up.

Where this becomes difficult is if someone believes you are a pro masquerading as an amateur, but again that is solved by sticking to the income % method.

I would suggest a beginner is someone making no money and having no idea (but a willingness to learn).

The middle ground is the hardest to classify, but it is probably the least important to classify as well.

photophantom
20 Sep 2010 - 4:50 PM

Agree with NevP but I'm not a Pro, enthusiast yes. Continuous learning, experimenting, visioning and collaborating new techniques and ideas. Knowing the limits of my gears and how to use em to the fullest.

scottishphototours

Cheryl,

Here's an interesting thought that I honestly believe is true....

The success of an ENTHUSIAST is directly proportional to the disposable income they have at their disposal for their photography.

I've known guys at Camera Clubs who have been club champions and then went on to Internationals and did very well there too. These guys would spend HUGE amounts of money on their gear, travel, processing (of slides mostly) and so on. When the Club ran a "landscape" competition and there was an entry from Thailand, it won because it was really good, taken with the best of gear and was sufficiently different from the rest to make it stand out. The same for wildlife and birds - a picture of an Osprey catching a fish is always going to stick in the mind more than a Robin on a twig...

Running tours we would see people lugging THOUSANDS of pounds worth of the best possible kit with them. These were generally the "enthusiasts". We've had GP's, Consultants, Self-made money, Lawyers, Accountants, etc etc - but strangely we've never had a binman or a shelf-stacker on a tour.

So in my mind it's not uncommon or unusual to see someone like that winning the Coutryfile comp or doing well in international competitions. It is simply that they have the disposable income to make their photography technically proficient and "sufficiently different" (my judging saying!) to make them stand out from the rest.

I also believe that an enthusiast would NEVER take the leap to doing photography full-time, as there simply isn't enough money in photography compared to what the day job pays...

Andy,
Enthusiastic Pro!

Last Modified By scottishphototours at 20 Sep 2010 - 5:57 PM
csurry
csurry  129230 forum posts92 Constructive Critique Points
20 Sep 2010 - 6:18 PM

Not sure if it is directly proportional Andy Wink Seen plenty with all the gear and no idea Grin

Probably a lot of truth, as an IT consultant I would have to sell a lot of images to make the same amount of income each month.

For me photography is about escaping the day to day office work. I actually enjoy the solitude of sitting in a hide for hours at a time. I find the time useful in organising thoughts, etc. Generally getting a picture is a bonus, and an opportunity I try hard not to muck up when presented.

So much so that I found this last experience quite hard work because others lacked that patience, which I found spoilt my enjoyment of just watching nature unfold in front of me. I've worked hard to get where I am, had setbacks in terms of being made redundant, etc., but now that I only have one real hobby I do sink funds in to making that as enjoyable as possible. Funny though no one ever accused me of being a professional golfer when I played that as a hobby. I guess because the rules/separation are clearly defined by a level of skill and more importantly income.

brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 1110227 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
20 Sep 2010 - 7:15 PM


Quote: others lacked that patience, which I found spoilt my enjoyment of just watching nature unfold in front of me

I think that is one of the key things that separates an enthusiast nature photographer from one who takes nature picture?

I have been trying to train some of my friends to stop, look and learn before they even get their cameras out but some of them just want to stick the viewfinder to their eye and shoot what is immediately obvious, then get disheartened when they can't "get the same macro shots you do Brian".

I find the more I look the less I shoot but the better the images become. I'm lucky being retired so that I am not under pressure to get my shots and can take the time to mess up, then (hopefully) learn and improve

scottishphototours

[quote]Not sure if it is directly proportional Andy Wink Seen plenty with all the gear and no idea Grinquote]

Oh yeah - we've all seen them!!

Not getting at you Cheryl, hope you don't think that. But you DO fit my idea of the enthusiast - though it has to be said I admire both your skill and more importantly your patience and determination to get the shots you want. Not sure I could do the whole "8-hours in a hide" thing you guys do !!

It's great to have the time to do something you love doing - I'm finding that less and less...

Andy

csurry
csurry  129230 forum posts92 Constructive Critique Points
20 Sep 2010 - 9:03 PM

No didn't take it personally Andy, definitely would describe myself in the Enthusiast category, only HMRC would really consider me semi-pro, no one else. Then again I've not really pushed the photography side of things over the last three years as I needed to establish the IT company.

This last week was 4 nights of 15-16 hours in the hide, sleeping on the floor, etc. Have to say though that the wolf encounter on the last night made it all worthwhile.

Was just curious where any perception of me being a full-time pro would come from, certainly not from me, but as I said other misconceptions also seem to abound, like numerous foreign trips, well actually numerous trips full-stop.

Anyway, very tired again now so will check back in the morning.

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