What is a professional? Well, my definition is a person who makes money from his skills. How many times have you heard someone say ‘I am only an amateur’ in relation to their hobby?
Everyone repeat after me
An amateur can be better at their craft than a professional.
The difference is not so much about the quality of the end product, but the additional steps needed to ensure that the product or service is delivered - every time.
So a pro photographer will have in place a back up plan, back up equipment, and with any luck a backup for themselves too. This is in no way a definitive list.
Pretend you are are wedding photographer…
What do you do if the heavens open up with the worst rainfall in living memory? The interior of the church cannot be used as another wedding follows…
Half way through the wedding you drop your one (and only) camera..
You wake up in the morning to discover that you have succumbed to the Swine Flu.
And if you do manage to produce a product, and the bride and groom are not happy, you could end up with a legal claim dropping on your doormat. You do have professional liability insurance in place don't you?
So, if you call yourself an amateur, rejoice in the freedom to create the best work that you possibly can for yourself and others without the stress associated with earning money from your hobby.
If your work is as good – or even better than the full time professional then you are not a mere amateur.