The Pro vs the Amateur
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Tuesday, October 02, 2012
By Lance Tilford
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Everyone with a simple camera (or phone) is, technically, a "photographer."  They are able to take a "photograph."  Many people advertise themselves as "photographers," happy to take portraits, wedding pictures, senior pictures, baby pictures, maternity pictures, headshots, and of course, "fashion."  When seeking out a photographer, people look for pricing and they look for quality.  The craft of photography is unique in that a photographer is not just creating one product for purchase.  A photographer who shoots multiple images is producing as many "products" as images.  Each image is its own product; it has a value. 

Here's a few key distinctions between a professional photographer and an amateur:

  • pros create images; amateurs take pictures
  • pros never pose their subjects, they give direction that elicits response; amateurs use poses
  • pros have assessed the worth of their images, and their talent and experience are worth something--they charge accordingly.  Every image they produce has value and can be used.  Amateurs give their images away by providing a disc of all images from the shoot