The 'professionals' attending are wedding, portrait, highschool senior, catalog, travel, outdoor, low end commercial based types. So, I'm going to write something controversial here, but these folks aren't really "artists", aren't they?

Not controversial, but kind of wrong headed. Most artist have to do something else to make a living. I would be willing to bet that the percentage of artists in this group is more or less the same as any other.

I couldn't get by on only my artistic endeavors, so I shoot other kinds of photography to get by, and some of it is electronic. I don't talk much about it here, because it isn't the place. I am no less an artist for doing commercial work to fund my art, than the percentage of "artists" in that group.