What is a Professional Photographer?

December 08, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

As usual this is just my personal opinion, other people's opinions may be different an that I the beauty of us all being individuals :) 

What is the difference between a person with a camera and a professional photographer?

We could break it down to find the definition


  • Adjective - Engaging in a given activity as a source of livelihood or a career
  • Noun - One who earns a living in a given or implied occupation


  • A person who takes photographs, especially as a job.

So it's simple, a professional photographer is a person who get's paid to take pictures!

So in theory if you gave me $10 to cook you a meal, I would be a chef?

So in theory if I gave me $10 to draw you a house plan, I would be an architect?

So in theory if you gave me $10 to take your temperature and give you a pill, I would be a doctor?





I truly believe that the thing that makes any person a professional is EDUCATION! When I first started out I did quite a few cheap and even free photo shoots for friends and family to help me learn. Not to make money, TO LEARN! It wasn't for about a year that I felt even close enough to having the knowledge that I could call myself a photographer and call what I do an occupation. Even now after 5 years I am still learning everyday and that is one of the reasons I love what I do. There will never be a day that there isn't something I can learn.

People ask "Where did you go to study photography?" And for a while I used to say "nowhere, I'm self taught" What a big lie that was. No, I never went to an actual college or school to get a piece of paper that says I am now a photographer (I am not bashing it at all) and yes, I did teach myself a few things but on the whole I am not self tought. I am taught by the succesful and knowledgable professionals of the photography world.

I went to the school of Sue Bryce, the school of Jerry Ghionis, the school of Annie Liebowitz, the school of Lee Lopez, Mark Eric, Jessica Vandermark, Amanda Holloway.............................. The list goes on and on. Every one of these people and a hindred more are people that I have spoken to, looked up to, listened to, went to a workshop, bought a learning class, watched them shoot, asked a question to......... LEARNT FROM!! So I am not self taught, I have been taught from the best in the business and I will continue to learn from the best in the business. I sit here today with workshops booked and books in front of me full of knowledge for me to take in and become a better professional than yesterday.

Back to my first question

What is the difference between a person with a camera and a professional photographer? In my opinion it is EDUCATION and ability to use that education in the best way.




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