"To be honest, a good amateur takes the same or better than photos of a professional. It's 2010 so there's so much information available to the public, and with the falling prices of photography equipment there's really no difference between a good amateur and pro."
hahahaha. Even though this was posted in 2010, it's still the biggest bullsh*t statement I have ever heard. Even now in 2013.
I see this all the time, over and over and I have experienced many times first hand.
Here is the difference between an amateur and a professional photographer.
Let's setup the same scenario for both photographers. They have the same camera, heck even put the same settings on it and give them the same lens. They have the same model (let's say female) and the same amount of time to photographer her. 2 minutes.
It's a competition. Amateur - On your mark, get set, go!
The amateur will start snapping images placing the subject in various poses (if he/she even knows any) and will grab loads of images and guaranteed some of them are good, maybe even great! 2 minutes goes by fast and he/she captured 50 or 60 images for the client.
Professional - On your mark, get set, go!
"Hello, my name is so and so, what is your name?". The photographer ask a few questions and get to know the subject all the time looking at her facial expressions. The photographer will notice the eyes, the hairstyle and how the subject is sitting or standing. The photographer will tell her the process of his image taking and he/she might even have her turn left and right.........oh no.....time is ticking. It's already 1 minute 30 seconds. The professional will quickly and accurately grab 5 to 6 images, maybe up to 10.
Which experience do you think the model will enjoy more? Which images do you think she will purchase as a wall portrait............and which photographer will bend over and give them all the images on a cd for $25?
There is much more to being a professional than having a good camera and knowing how to use it.