I have a great passion for photography. I own a normal Canon digital camera of 10 megapixel. I would like to learn more about the various techniques, tips for taking great pictures so that I an enthusiast currently can become a professional someday. Please let me know how this can be achieved.


2 Answers 2


There are an awful lot of amateur photographers that charge money for their photographs. For me the dividing line between amateur and professional is a simple acid test: is photography how a person makes their entire living.

For me this is a great test because if a person is making their entire living via photography, by necessity they're engaging in a whole host of activities and practices that make them a 'professional,' none of which have anything to do with the actual taking of pictures. Some of those things are tangible:

  • Marketing their business
  • Generating sales
  • Paying business and employee tax obligations
  • Being 'licensed and legal'

But some are not:

  • Having daily 'office hours' that roughly correspond to 'normal' business hours
  • Having a dedicated working space
  • Business shows a true net profit
  • etc.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you not consider yourself professional, if you make less that 50% of your income through photography, yet still are registered self-employed, and work, act and shoot in a professional manner to a professional standard, and includes the things you have mentioned? Calling this person amateur could be quite degrading (not trying to insult amateurs) as amateur suggests hobbiest or unprofessional. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 15:55

Charging money isn't what makes you a pro; it's committing to the business and marketing of your photography and putting resources into generating sales. Anyone can create a website on smugmug that lets people pay for prints (I have!); that doesn't make you a pro, and it doesn't mean anyone will buy anything. the professional aspect is about doing the work and investing the time into generating sales. Which, for what it's worth, means you're probably going to do LESS photography, not more, because you're going to have to spend time selling what you've shot and building a client base and getting your work known rather than creating work.

(that's one reason why last year I decided to not go pro, and instead continue focusing on the craft; I don't HAVE to go pro, I can look for opportunities when they arrive without spending a lot of time trying to create them, and I can spend more time with the camera than if I was trying to generate revenue. and if sales come along, great... if not, it's not a big deal at this point, so why add complexity to life?)


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.