Amateur Vs Professional:
Every professional was once an amateur. The amateur keeps trying new ideas and never stops. And the professionals keep the zeal of amateur in their soul.
Every professional goes through this phase. But how exactly do you define a “professional”?
According to dictionary, it is anyone who is engaged in a particular profession.
The person needs special training or skill and a high level of education in the particular subject. Such person is paid for his/her services in that profession.
The amateur, however, is not paid or paid less for his services. It’s mostly a training period for the person.
With experience and money, (s)he can call himself/herself a professional. But the bigger question is, do professionals work with professionalism?
Being Professional Vs Being Proficient:
Professionalism refers to how one presents himself/herself while carrying out the job. As mentioned earlier, being a professional means one is getting paid for the work.
One can be proficient at a work, but not a professional. Being proficient is being good at doing something regardless of being paid for it. One is not necessarily accompanied by the others.
One can be a professional with no proficiency in doing a job. But, one can show professionalism even while volunteering for a work.
You can be proficient in cooking but that doesn’t make you a professional cook. Most of us consider the proficient work as professional because we make money out of it.
There Are Common Personality Traits of Professional Photographers:
1. Professionals are perfectionists too
There are different school of thoughts. And each one is debatable. Who is a professional then? I believe a perfectionist with professionalism is a professional.
Perfectionist is someone who is not satisfied with just a good enough job if he or she can bring better results. Whether you are a landscape or documentary photographer, you always try to meet higher standards.
You choose the gadgets according to your style of photography and keep them in a perfect way. A professional knows that not every machine or equipment is there for his/her kind of photography. They have the perfect view and clarity towards their profession.
2. Practice and practice only
Perfectionists practice the same work over and over again. A musician keeps practicing the same piece of work even after he or she has reached a level of performance that impresses everyone in the audience.
Roger Federer works tirelessly on his game even after he has attained excellence. Professional photographers set very high standards for themselves.
They aspire to meet such standards in every performance. Every photographer who has high standards for himself/herself will keep making efforts to produce better results.
3. Professionals leave less chances for doing mistakes
A professional photographer does not like to have regrets. They have gained experience out of the mistakes they made as amateurs. Professionals foresee the possible mistakes or blunders.
That is the reason, they are ready to face unforeseen circumstances. For example, no memory card manufacturer claims that their card can never fail. Professional photographers, therefore, carry a bunch of pro memory cards.
Most professional photographers carry two full frame camera bodies. Accidents can happen anytime.
It happened with me. On one wedding occasion, I was taking photos of the groom’s entry. One of my full frame camera bodies was on a sling belt. The screw with the hook loosened its grip, and it fell apart. The other camera body saved my day.
4. Professionals make things easier and supportive for customers
It’s not always about making money. Customer approaches the professional not only for buying services or products. They expect something more than products.
For example, Apple is not just a company selling MacBook or smartphones. There are other companies who sell similar products. But Apple sells experience more than its product.
Customers do not only buy the Apple products but experience them too. Apple spends a fortune to make things easier for its customer.
Being a photographer, the job is not only to make photos. They capture moments and memories that are priceless.
The professional photographer spends a lot of money to deliver quality products without discomforting customers. You must provide support system to your clients as per your product.
5. Professionals have their own idea and style
A perfectionist professional keeps making efforts to improve his/her work. But at the same time, they do not compromise with their style of photography. They work hard to develop their own style.
Henrie Cartier Bresson said in 1994, “I attach great importance to there being no changes to my compositions.”
His negatives were printed as they were, without cutting even a millimeter. He used to stamp ‘Do not crop’ at the back of his work along with his signature and name of the agency.
Every famous photographer had their own style. You look at the work of photography-masters. You can figure out which work is related to Vivian Maier or Henri Cartier-Bresson or Robert Doisneau. That is the reason, they are irreplaceable.
Every individual is different. You must have your own ways to carry out your profession. You may have your own personality traits.
But, being a professional, you must contribute or add something of greater value to your customer. Isn’t it?
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