The Difference Between Pro Photographers and Amateurs Explained

professional photographers
Some telltale signs make pro photographers stand out from the rotten eggs.

Thanks to increased competition from camera manufacturers, and a decrease in the cost of making new cameras, they are more affordable than ever. Now, anyone with a little bit of money can purchase a DSLR or a cheap Mirrorless camera. While this is good, it also creates some bad too as, pretty soon, beginners seem to think they can begin charging for their work, passing themselves off as pro photographers. After the break, we will share a video with you that will help you determine whether John or Susie Q with a camera is either a pro photographer or an amateur.

The video from Fresh Pepper makes a few good points. While I personally don’t agree with all of them, some of the points make pro photographers stand out from the amateurs in the world.

According to Fresh Pepper, what makes a good photographer? Having your own website to showcase your work instead of relying on Instagram is one of his points. Another is being able to retouch your own photos or have them sent out to professional retouchers so that your clients can get the very best images. Amateurs will use apps like Snapseed or Instagram to edit their pictures. Another point he makes is that professional photographers will not list their prices online, but will instead ask for a potential client to contact them so that a full job brief can be provided. This way, an accurate estimate can be given. I agree with these points.

The rest of the points I am unsure about. Fresh Pepper claims pros will use primes only and never zooms (it’s not about the gear guys), and that pros will never use natural light, opting for flash instread. Fresh Pepper also claims that, in order to be a pro, you have to shoot RAW only and that you can never use anything other than manual mode. Sigh. We all know there are times and situations where that makes no sense.

I know plenty of pro photographers who use aperture priority and shutter priority. It’s all about understanding your gear and knowing what settings to use in each situation you find yourself in. It sounds like someone needs to come back down to earth just a little. Check out the video and see what you think about it. How do you feel about the generalizations between being a pro photographer and an amateur? Let us know in the comment section below.