Professional or Amateur?

As I’m pursuing my photography interests I have to think about my own status. A lot of models say they will only work with a professional photographer. But what is a professional photographer? And why do you want than instead of a talented amateur?

To me professional has little to do with talent. A professional anything, just means the person is paid for what they do. I know of photographers who are paid to take pictures but who worse pictures than I do. Though it is true if you suck as a pro you probably won’t be one long, because people won’t hire you.

Given this definition I use to be a professional photographer and no longer am, but might be in the future. Seventeen years ago I worked in a small portrait studio. So I was a professional, but I wasn’t very good. The lighting set up was static and I never had to meter anything.

But now I have more knowledge, but I’m not paid for it, so I’m an amateur.

After building my portfolio I may decide to work as a photographer again. Then I’ll be a professional.

It seems to me models shouldn’t be looking for “professional”, they should be looking for talented.