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  • Writer's pictureIan Miller

Happy to be an Amateur.

One of the most common questions that people ask about photography is what is the difference between a professional photographer and an amateur. There is no real answer to this question, as different photographers may have different levels of skill, experience, creativity, and equipment. However, some possible factors that could distinguish a professional from an amateur are:


- A professional photographer has a clear purpose and goal for their photography, whether it is to create art, document events, tell stories, or sell products. They have a defined style and vision that they consistently apply to their work. They also have a business plan and a marketing strategy to reach their target audience and clients.

- An amateur photographer may take photos for fun, hobby, or personal interest. They may not have a specific direction or theme for their photography, and they may experiment with different genres and techniques. They may not have a regular income or a stable client base from their photography.

- A professional photographer invests in high-quality equipment and accessories that suit their needs and preferences. They know how to use their gear effectively and efficiently, and they keep it well-maintained and updated. They also have backup equipment and insurance in case of accidents or malfunctions.

- An amateur photographer may use entry-level or mid-range equipment that they can afford or borrow. They may not have the best or the latest gear, and they may not know how to use it optimally. They may not have backup equipment or insurance in case of emergencies.

- A professional photographer has extensive knowledge and skills in photography, such as composition, lighting, exposure, focus, colour, editing, and post-processing. They constantly learn and improve their craft through education, training, practice, feedback, and experimentation. They also have a portfolio and a resume that showcase their work and achievements.

- An amateur photographer may have basic or intermediate knowledge and skills in photography, such as the rule of thirds, the exposure triangle, or the histogram. They may learn and improve their craft through online tutorials, books, magazines, blogs, or podcasts. They may not have a portfolio or a resume that highlights their work and accomplishments.

These are some of the possible differences between a professional photographer and an amateur. However, these are not absolute or exclusive criteria, as some amateurs may have professional qualities and some professionals may have amateur flaws. Ultimately, the difference between a professional and an amateur is not only about the technical aspects of photography, but also about the attitude, passion, dedication, and satisfaction that one has for their work.

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