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Lots of talk on line about what "professional" means. To some it means "high quality" to others it refers to someone who relies on photography for their living. Often times these two definitions do not run hand in hand. Market forces I hear you cry! - only those who have both will succeed and flourish. Well perhaps - especially the latter element - but I have seen on FB today a photographer who charges £25 for a wedding.
To my mind that is probably a blessing - afterall not everyone can afford the big bucks and most folk want something to remember events by. Whether the client should expect a lot for £25 is another matter. I do not do weddings - too stressful and I do not have enough time to do them. Rather I am trying to walk the fine line of doing what I want to do - although the market at my level is not worth a lot - and balancing the other job.
I am fortunate that at the moment I have more work than I can do - but unfortunate in that the other job has taken me a long time to develop and there is no easy way to jump between them.
Should this be work at all? Certainly I like the way that when the customer is happy (and why should they not be if communication beforehand is good) then the product of photography should almost always make folk happy (at least in my line and photojournalism aside) - that cannot be said of my main job.
This then brings one to the thoughts around pricing one's worth. Seems to me a common problem with creativity and art that if you are creating something from nothing then there is an inherent problem with costs. You cannot charge the "shutter-life" of every clcik of your camera to the client (or can you - I have seen some very worthy attempts at business planning around depreciation of kit and costs to replace) so once the ink has dried a print is only worth what someone will pay for it.