As a Professional do you complain about Amateurs?

In my early days a Professional was a person who earned over a certain percentage of their main income from a particular trade. That includes photography. So if Photography was not your main source of income, no matter how good you were at it, you were not a professional.

Now, the definition has changed to encompass three areas,

1, a person practising a profession – This always makes me laugh, reminds me of the joke about the Practising Solicitor or Dentist, I once practised to be an athlete, never was any good at it. Being a Practising Photographer is probably a perfectly good statement since it is one of those professions where you can never attain perfection.

2, a person who engages in some art, sport etc. for money, esp. as a means of livelihood, rather than as a hobby,- this is almost the old way, but is diluted by the esp. word. The definition should read “a person who engages in some art, sport etc. for money as a means of livelihood” . It should never have been diluted.

3, a person who does something with great skill – Enter the amateur who excels at Photography as a hobby. This is the statement in the definition that allows those who might not wish to make a living at photography as a profession, to be called Professionals.

Within the Peoples Photographic Society and its competitions, as with other such clubs and events, we see many pictures by non-professionals that, when placed alongside the top pro images that are often seen, are more than capable of holding their own.

So, as a professional, ask yourself why you are complaining about the amateurs who are getting paid to do their hobby? Are they really taking your livelihood or is it perhaps because the good ones are showing a higher skill level than you might like?

The second question you should be asking unless you live in the same town, “is an amateur living in California or Moscow really going to affect my livelihood”?


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