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PROFESSIONAL VS HOBBYIST PHOTOGRAPHER

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PHOTOGRAPHY by KRISS on 29 february 2016

PROFESSIONAL VS HOBBYIST PHOTOGRAPHER One makes a living out of it and the other doesn’t.
That’s it ? Well, yeah, pretty much but I’m going to explain it a little bit further anyways.
This is a question people often ask : what makes the difference between a pro photographer and a hobbyist and when I come to think about it, they often ask it speaking in terms of quality of results and it should not be the case !

I repeat it again, the only difference strictly is that a pro photographer makes a living out of it and a hobbyist doesn’t, period.


So the question now is whether it reflects on the quality of the works.

The first thing that might differentiate a pro from a hobbyist is their equipment.
A professional needs pro equipment to be able to work and will often own equipment of higher grade than the hobbyist.
This is not always the case, I know of a friend who is a hobbyist and owns pretty much the same things that I do.
But he’s a lot wealthier than I am and not very many hobbyist can afford toys like the Nikon D4s and a Nikkor 24mm f1.4 to take landscapes ! Of course, the difference in camera equipment can result in differences in the quality of the photography but at the end of the day it is not what counts (except for studio work or light assisted work where quality of equipment is really crucial).

What really matters is how much time one or the other spends shooting and you would be surprised to discover how many hobbyist actually get to shoot a lot more than their neighbor pro.
And as practice makes perfect, there are many hobbyist that produces stunning images because they have plenty of time to do so.

Another big difference and many pros agree on that point : you often make better photography when you are not bound to a result.
Again, this is something you learn to work around, you relax, get less stress and stop setting the bar too high and then every shoot (billable or not) becomes an enjoyment.
But sometimes you simply get better results when you decide what you want to create from A to Z.
Meeting a client’s expectations is another dynamic.
Also a hobbyist does not work within any timeframe except the one they have set themselves.
This can reflect on quality too, a pro photographer always have a deadline to respect and consistency.
They cannot afford to spend hours on a single photograph if they need to deliver a whole shoot in a few days.

This is why with time and errors, a professional learns other techniques, anticipation, and tricks that ensure them the best possible results given all the constraints of a set task.

Finally, a professional photographer often gets to work on different kinds of works except for the ultra-niche lucky ones who can afford to stay focus on the one thing they do best.
But actually I believe diversity is good and fun and source of progress.
While architecture and modeling photography are two worlds apart, modeling and wedding photography are not too far and in any case two work sets can always earn from each other which is why I have never stopped myself engaging into different areas of photography.

There are classic over dated and old fashioned rules that state that a baker is a baker and not a cook or that an electrician is an electrician and not a plumber but rules are made to be broken aren’t they ? Well the silly ones at least and I believe each and everyone of us can be great at achieving many many various things, including in their professional or hobby areas !

#professional #hobbyist #photographer

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