There is so much chatter in the photographic industry about this-people are debating what it means to be a professional photographer all over on forums, blogs and even Facebook!
I think that this discussion keeps going in large part due to the difference between using professional/Professional as an adjective or a noun. It makes all the difference in the world.
When asked “What does it mean to be a professional?”, photographers (both full time and part time) respond with basically two differing ideas:
- That being a pro means that you earn your income solely or largely from performing photographic services
- That being a pro means running a legitimate business, paying taxes, taking excellent care of your customers, delivering a superior product, and pursuing excellence in your craft
My opinion? It depends on whether the question is “are you a photographer by profession?” (a professional) or “do you operate your business in a professional manner.
See the difference? It’s not that one is truer or more correct. In fact, they are both completely valid points!
So the REAL question is: Do these two definitions intersect? Do they combine to make some sort of professional Professional? 😉
My thought is that if you are a photographer by profession you should absolutely behave like a Professional. That includes a myriad of things like being on time, replying to emails in a timely fashion, pursuing your craft, paying taxes, being legal, delivering amazing results consistently and so much more.
Stay tuned-I’ll be tackling the hobby vs pro discussion next!