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What is the difference between pro and amateur


ianrobinson e2
5 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 2:29PM
What is your definition of pro tog, semi pro, and amateur tog, because it has been interesting reading what some people think those words mean.
In a light hearted if possible answer what do you think those words mean?

See to me personally I don't see a class, I see one word and that is photographer, and I say that because of what images I have seen from the so called amateurs that create far better images than a so called pro.

What's your opinion?

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scottishphototours 10 2.6k 2 Scotland
31 Jan 2012 2:41PM
Pro = paid for taking pics but not necessarily enjoying it.
Semi-pro = sometimes paid for taking pics but not necessarily declaring it to hmrc.
Amateur = taking pics as an escape from the other pressures in life, ie, work.

The best photographers are generally those that have a substantial disposable income to allow them to purchase the best possible equipment and often get to use it in places most of us can only dream about... Thtat's certainly been my conclusions over the last 25 years anyway!
brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 2:48PM
Taking the "light-hearted" viewpoint:

Pro - makes a living from it
Semi-pro - makes a bit of money from it
Amateur - takes pictures for the fun of it

Kit wise:

Pro - buys the minimum they can get away with to make the maximum profit
Semi-pro - buys what they can with any money they may have made from their sales
Amateur - buys as much as they can get away with without their partner killing them

image wise:

pro - shoots what the customer wants and gets it right most of the time
Semi-pro - shoots images that they like and that may sell, rejects the dross and claims the good ones are "What they usually get"
Amateur - keeps on banging away until they get something they like, then puts it up on EPZ so their mates can give it lots of votes Grin
gingerdelight 8 298 11 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 2:50PM
Pro = takes photos which they think are better than everyone else's
Semi-Pro = takes photos which they hope are better than everyone else's
Amateur = takes photos which they know are better than everyone else's

Motto = don't worry, be happy!! Wink
mattw 11 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 2:54PM

Quote:What's your opinion?

Its my view or judgement on something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
franken e2
12 3.3k 4 Wales
31 Jan 2012 2:55PM
I remember being told by a then well known photographer in the 80's who's no longer with us that the difference between a successful professional photographer and an excellent amateur was that the pro could afford to shoot twenty plus rolls of slide film in order to get the best shot where an amateur couldn't.

Digital appears to have removed that barrier.
Overread 6 3.9k 18 England
31 Jan 2012 2:59PM

Quote:Taking the "light-hearted" viewpoint:

Pro - makes a living from it
Semi-pro - makes a bit of money from it
Amateur - takes pictures for the fun of it

Kit wise:

Pro - buys the minimum they can get away with to make the maximum profit
Semi-pro - buys what they can with any money they may have made from their sales
Amateur - buys as much as they can get away with without their partner killing them

image wise:

pro - shoots what the customer wants and gets it right most of the time
Semi-pro - shoots images that they like and that may sell, rejects the dross and claims the good ones are "What they usually get"
Amateur - keeps on banging away until they get something they like, then puts it up on EPZ so their mates can give it lots of votes Grin



+1
Though I would split pro into two sorts:
Regular pros - shoots what the customer wants and gets it right most of the time"

"arty/lucky" pro - gets hired by the customer to shoot what the the customer wants them to shoot, but only "how" the pro wants it to look Wink
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 3:02PM

Quote:
Pro = paid for taking pics but not necessarily enjoying it.
Semi-pro = sometimes paid for taking pics but not necessarily declaring it to hmrc.
Amateur = taking pics as an escape from the other pressures in life, ie, work.



So a semi-pro is a potential tax doger but a pro photographer would always declare income...?
brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 3:07PM

Quote:What's your opinion?
Its my view or judgement on something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.



Boom Boom (as Basil Brush used to say) Grin
saltireblue e2
4 4.3k 26 Norway
31 Jan 2012 3:35PM
Light hearted:

The pro: "Listen sonny, I was doing this when you were still filling your nappies with that stuff that's now coming out yer mouth"

Semi pro: "I have done the Open Universtity, and City & Guilds in photography and am chairman of my local photo club."

Amateur: "OK love, just get yer kit off and have a fag if you want one before we get started, I've gotta get this lot set up first"

Quote:The best photographers are generally those that have a substantial disposable income to allow them to purchase the best possible equipment and often get to use it in places most of us can only dream about... Thtat's certainly been my conclusions over the last 25 years anyway!


I have to say that anyone who thinks this has no idea what they are talking about. no technical skill or imagination.

I'm a pro and the difference between ams and pro's is. Am's always ask me what camera i use and Pro's ask if I'm busy or where's the nearest pub.
sherring 7 46 13 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 3:38PM
Pro... Someone who does it for a living and it's his main source of income.

Semi Pro... Someone who earns money from photography but it's not their main 9-5 job. ie they do the odd commissioned job.

Amateur... Someone who earns nothing from photography but does it because they like it. Although they may sell the odd pic, but not undertake commissioned shoots.

It's the same definition as sports people and Athletes really.

Steve.
ianrobinson e2
5 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 3:40PM
good view points so far.

I personally think there is no real catogory from what i have seen from pros and amateurs.

My opinion is there is only 2 catagories one is a bad photographer and the other is a good photographer.
I have seen amazing work come from so called amateurs and poor work come from so called pros.
What makes a pro a pro is someone fortunate enough to be in a job getting paid doing photography and some are good but some are also not good.
I have a website and want to do photography for a living but i don't class my self as a pro or semi pro or even an amateur but i do class myself as a photographer.
It's a bit like when they class some cameras a pro camera, what are they saying? are they stating if your not a pro your not allowed one, well i can't see that but then why make the statement and try to limit your sales on your camera, never understood that.
Like i said i am not a pro tog but a photographer who wants to earn money from it and i have a canon 5d mark ii and a 7d with the canon l lenses, all this equipment is meant to be pro level but, sorry but get off that high horse if i can afford as a so called ameteur to buy so called pro lenses and cameras i will buy them, does that make me a pro tog well obviously no.
Personally i think there is way too much emphosis on so called pro togs in my opinion there are many so called pro togs seriously think they are gods gifts and are very quick to tell you in not so many words and when you want to view what they have done they have nothing to show or it's very poor.
Sorry meant to keep this light hearted so ill end with a joke.

On a lighter note i went to a hypnotised show last night and the hypnotist had 7 blokes on stage doing different things, it all went very well till the hypnotist tripped over his mike lead and shouted fxxx me....Tongue
pulsar69 10 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 4:07PM
One of the issues for me is from the client side and the difference between what a client presumes is a professional photographer who does it for a living and has the experience, the knowledge, the insurances, and the ability to cope with the many different scenarios a wedding throws up, and an amateur or semi-pro who simply call themselves a pro when they actually have a completely different career or day job bearing no relevance to photography. There are quite a few in our area and they do unfortunately advertise themselves as highly experienced professionals !

This for me is the difference its the clients interpretation of the word ' professional ' that is important, would a client employ a professional kitchen fitter and expect a full time photographer who fits kitchens on his days off ?, and if you employee a professional photographer would you expect a teacher to turn up ?

I only ever started advertising myself as a professional when i started into it full time and left my old job, but then not everyones moral standards are the same. I see nothing wrong in having two jobs but being open and honest with the clients is simple and actually effective. ( I have recently started doing weddings and Im offering really good deals to my first clients whilst i gain experience ... ) sounds fine to me.
NEWDIGIT 3 401 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 4:10PM
"Pro"-
paid to do what the amateur enjoys, and has convinced someone that they are "the Bees knees". Kit level enough to do the job and look good to the client dependent on potential pay cheques.
Image quality has been fortunate to be in right place at right time and still living off it, produces another great image when client base is slacking


Semi Pro
enjoys his hobby and occasionally fortunate to sell some work. Kit Level aspires to have the best and strives to achieve it
Image quality, consistently achieves the best they can

Amateur
Continues to enjoy there hobby.
kit would like to upgrade but cant justify cost
Image quality works hard to achieve the best they can and occasionally better than the "Pro" and Semi Pro

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