Professional: (noun) A person who earns a living in an occupation frequently engaged in by amateurs
An interesting article at PetaPixel on the future of professional photography. They opine that now that everyone has the gear and the ability to share that the next step is that we will see a flood of “Professional” photographers hawking their wares online. Truth be told, that’s already happened.
What’s a true professional to do? PetaPixel suggests that the answer is simple – specialize and focus. An analogy – “All doctors go to medical school, but typically the speciality surgeon makes more money than the general practioner.”
I’m an aviation photographer. An AMATEUR aviation photographer. I’ve not made a cent off my photography, in fact all my photos carry a Creative Commons license stating anyone is free to use them as long as they credit me as the maker. If people share my work or comment on it that’s enough for me. If it opens doors for me (increased access at air shows or other aviation events), even better. There are plenty of professional aviation photographers out there and I’m honored to know a number of them who are warm and friendly when we meet. I’ve learnt from them and they are usually quick to share tips and objective criticism of my work. Thank you all.
Be it airplanes or horses or waterfalls or .. whatever, get out there and shoot! Take courses at your local night school or online. Ask people to comment and don’t be thin skinned when the comments aren’t what you hoped. Learn, grow and for goodness sake have fun.