Years ago, more than forty, I was given the only difference between a professional and amateur photographer.
The amateur makes an exposure and says, 'I hope this comes out!'
The professional says, 'This damn well better come out!
Commercial photography in private places might not be allowed in certain places. Who you are, as said, is irrelevant. Relevant is either that you are taking a picture susceptible of commercial use (tripod, large format) or, more in general, the use of that picture.
If you sell prints as "fine art", not in series, that's not considered in most countries commercial use, even if you sold them at $5000 each.
"Commercial" has two common definitions: the broad one, "selling for publication", and the narrowest one, "selling for advertisement".
So the entity owning the place where you open your tripod might object about having somebody making pictures destined to illustration of textbooks, postcards, calendars, guide books, magazines, that stuff. People is generally happy if their property ends up in a magazine, guide book etc. But you can have the case where said entity wants to sell postcards, calendars etc. and have an exclusive on it. Disneyworld wouldn't like you to open your tripod in their premises, not even for postcards. An Hotel would probably not object to any use of this kind.
More likely, the entity wants to restrict "commercial" use as in "use for advertising something". That's because it might appear that the entity is somehow endorsing the product, and you can be sure that any entity will either not endorse a product, or want money in exchange for the endorsing.
In any case, your "status" as a photographer doesn't mean a fig to them. The entity typically looks at your camera. If it looks "professional" i.e. if it is big, think a big digital and if you use a tripod then they will stop you. If you use a digital point & shoot, they will not. That means you have to use a film camera, with high ISO film is necessary, hand-held, and you will get professional-quality results without being bothered by anybody
Last edited by Diapositivo; 06-27-2011 at 07:25 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Amateurs worry about equipment and megapixels. Intermediates worry about lighting and composition. Professionals worry about someone answering their cellphone in the darkroom.
5x7 Eastman-Kodak kit, under the knife for a bit
4x5 Graphic View / Schneider 180 / Ektar 127
RB67 Pro S / 50 4.5 / 90 3.8 / 180 4.5 / WLF / prism finder / polaback
Random 35mm stuff
Thanks! My site is still in progress but I like it so far. And I learned HTML more than 10 years ago and have even taught classes in it so I do know a bit
Originally Posted by guitstik
So that is all HTML? No flash? And you built it from scratch? Nice ... I would be so lost trying to attempt that.
BTW, I worked at Olan Mills in the 80's and was NOT a professional then, but think I am now. I turn work down based on my personal schedule and am not taking any clients this summer, so in theory I would call my current state a "starving artist". However, my husband has a really great job, so we are in fact nowhere near "starving".
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Originally Posted by Katie
All things considered, when it comes to a photography Web site, it really is the photos that make a difference! Your photos are really nice, well done.
Well, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play a lawyer on stage. But I do know just a small bit about what "professional" means in a strict sense in South Carolina and North Carolina, places that I have a residence.
In those states and most states in the US, no advice about other countries, the word professional has nothing to do with income or sales or peer recognition or much of anything we normally associate with the word in vernacular speech.
The word "professional" means that you have a license from the state to perform certain acts, and that you meet the state specified minimum requirements for that license, and you can be held accountable for violations of the license terms or violations of the rules, regulations, and laws regarding that profession.
Specifically, lawyers, nurses, doctors, dentists, barbers, cosmetologists, and a whole list of other "professions" have a license hanging on the wall somewhere (or a professional driver has it in his wallet most likely) that can be revoked.
Income is about money, and the IRS couldn't care less if you steal it as long as you declare it.
I work as an engineer, but I am not a Licensed PE. So there are things that I cannot do. Regardless of the level of "professionalism" I may display in my work, I am not able to claim the mantle of Professional Engineer.
Photographers are not licensed, at least not any place I live, so in South Carolina and North Carolina there are no "professional" photographers in the strictly legal sense.
For a vernacular definition, I'll offer one that my father always gave me growing up. The difference between an amateur and a professional is that an amateur may do a good job when he wants to, but a professional must do a good job when he doesn't want to.
I too work as an engineer. I am in England though where we don't have such licencing for engineers (but we do have institutes,etc.). Some people think I shouldn't use the title engineer as I don't have a degree but as far as I am concerned, when I am doing engineering work, I am an engineer. And as I earn money from it, I am a professional engineer.
Originally Posted by michaelbsc
And I can out-engineer many alleged engineers I have met who are degree qualified but real life incompetent.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
Great to see the international variation in 'what makes a pro' quips.
Since my day job is working with moving images and I'm effectively self employed, I wouldn't hesitate to declare any earnings I made selling a print to the taxman; I can't imagine a tax inspector making the distinction between photography and my normal line of work.
Diapositivo got closest to answering my poorly worded question:
If I take a shot without commercial intent and, therefore, without the landowners express permission (in areas where permission is not required for non-commercial photography) and later produce and sell a limited edition (for arguments sake) fine art print, have I done anything wrong? Diapositivio suggests not, as long as I'm in the right country. Any further thoughts?
Originally Posted by Diapositivo
I used to work night shift at a convenience store frequented by many pretty young professional mounters. According to the cops their mounting was illegal and seeking their mounting services was illegal as well. So, maybe he does not want to be a professional mounter. Though these ladies did make a lot of money selling their mounting expertise. Pictures probably cost extra.
Originally Posted by Sim2
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004