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  • Writer's pictureIan Miller

Amateur or Professional they are just words

What is the difference between an amateur photographer and a professional? This is a question that many people ask, especially those who are interested in pursuing photography as a hobby or a career. There is no definitive answer to this question, as different photographers may have different levels of skill, experience, equipment, and style. However, some possible factors that could distinguish an amateur from a professional are:

- The purpose of photography. An amateur photographer usually takes photos for fun, personal satisfaction, or artistic expression. A professional photographer, on the other hand, takes photos for a specific goal, such as selling, publishing, or exhibiting their work. A professional photographer may also have to meet the expectations and requirements of their clients, editors, or audiences.

- The quality of photography. An amateur photographer may not be too concerned about the technical aspects of photography, such as exposure, focus, composition, lighting, and editing. They may also not have access to high-end equipment or software that could enhance their photos. A professional photographer, however, strives to produce high-quality photos that are sharp, well-exposed, well-composed, well-lit, and well-edited. They may also invest in advanced equipment and software that could give them more creative control and flexibility over their photos.

- The knowledge of photography. An amateur photographer may not have much formal education or training in photography. They may learn by trial and error, self-study, or online tutorials. A professional photographer, however, may have a degree or a certificate in photography or a related field. They may also have attended workshops, seminars, or courses to improve their skills and knowledge. A professional photographer may also be familiar with the history, theory, and ethics of photography. Do you think taking a course will make you a good photographer? Well, that depends on what kind of course you take, and what kind of photographer you want to be. Some courses are very theoretical and teach you about the history and aesthetics of photography, but don't give you much practical experience. Other courses are very hands-on and let you experiment with different cameras, lenses, lighting, and editing software, but don't teach you much about the art and science of photography. And then there are courses that try to balance both aspects but may not go deep enough into either one.So, before you enrol in any course, you should ask yourself: what are your goals as a photographer? Do you want to capture beautiful landscapes, stunning portraits, or candid moments? Do you want to express your creativity, tell a story, or document reality? Do you want to learn the technical skills, the artistic principles, or both? And most importantly, do you have fun taking pictures?

Because, at the end of the day, no course can make you a good photographer if you don't enjoy what you're doing. Photography is not just a skill, it's a passion. It's a way of seeing the world and sharing your vision with others. It's a form of communication and expression. And it's a lot of fun!

So, don't worry too much about finding the perfect course. Just find one that suits your interests, your budget, and your schedule. And then go out there and take pictures. Lots of pictures. Experiment with different settings, angles, and perspectives. Learn from your mistakes and successes. Seek feedback and inspiration from other photographers. And most importantly, have fun!

- The attitude towards photography. An amateur photographer may view photography as a hobby, a passion, or a form of expression. They may enjoy taking photos for themselves or for their friends and family. A professional photographer, however, views photography as a business, a career, or a profession. They may have to deal with deadlines, contracts, invoices, taxes, and other aspects of running a photography business. A professional photographer may also have to cope with stress, competition, criticism, and rejection.

These are some of the possible differences between an amateur photographer and a professional. However, these differences are not absolute or exclusive. There may be amateur photographers who have professional-level skills and quality, and there may be professional photographers who still enjoy photography as a hobby and passion. Ultimately, the difference between an amateur and a professional may depend on how they define themselves and their photography.

Is amateur photography a bad thing? Of course not! Being an amateur photographer means you have a passion for capturing the beauty of the world around you. It means you are always learning new skills and techniques to improve your craft. It means you are not afraid to experiment and try new things. It means you are part of a community of like-minded people who share your enthusiasm and support your growth. Being an amateur photographer is something to be proud of, not ashamed of. You are not less than a professional photographer, you are just on a different stage of your journey. So don't let anyone tell you that being an amateur photographer is a bad word. It's a word that describes your love for photography and your dedication to pursue it.

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