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Are Pros Supposed to Know All?

pdechavez

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I've been shooting for a while now and was wondering this...it may be stupid but I'd really like to clear it out.

Are pros expected to know it all? Shoot a picture without making mistakes? Go to a store and purchase without questions?
 
If pro's knew it all, we'd all be out of work.
 
Pros are just photographers that make a living from their photography. You might be thinking of know-it-alls. They're an entirely different breed.
 
Pros are just photographers that make a living from their photography.

In fact some Pros know very little, all depends on the experience of the pro. I bet there are pros out there who shoot on Nikon Digital with a 28-200 zoom and think that they know everthing, then you'll have the pros who shoot on everything from Large Format down to DSLR, develop their own film, enlarge their own prints, and know they are still learning.
 
All a pro is is someone who says they know a lot about photography and owns a big camera.
I know a wedding photographer who shot his weddings in auto for the first 2 years with his D70. He now makes 500 dollars a wedding, in a small little town,(thats a lot for the town I live in, its a VERY small town, you could probaly drive through it and not even know you did) and sells me the majority of the photography equipment I own. (everything but my flash and D70)
 
In fact some Pros know very little, all depends on the experience of the pro. I bet there are pros out there who shoot on Nikon Digital with a 28-200 zoom and think that they know everthing, then you'll have the pros who shoot on everything from Large Format down to DSLR, develop their own film, enlarge their own prints, and know they are still learning.

Yes, it depends on the experience of the pro. If you have been doing a lot of event/public relations shooting, then you know what gets published and what kind of shots editors are looking for. If your work in portraits has to be better than others in your community in order to financially survive, then you are motivated to learn everything that there is to know about the area. Any pro who has to be better than his/her competition in order to be successful will necessarily know a lot more than any beginning enthusiast.

On the other hand, there are some pros who are moderately successful simply because they have little competition in their communities and have not been "forced" to produce top quality work. There are others who narrowly restrict their work to kid shots, small weddings and events in their very immediate neighbourhood.

So, no pro knows it all, but based on experience, some know a heck of a lot more than the average beginning enthusiast.

skieur
 
Nobody knows it all (except moi ... lol), but, (the big but), a pro knows enough in order to get the exceptional image(s) on what they're being paid to shoot.

A wedding photog knows how to shoot a wedding in a multitude of circumstances and at the end of the day have enough "keepers" for a "professional" package.

A studio photographer is proficient with lighting to get a pleasing or dramatic lighting for their customers.

A news photog knows how to tell a story with pictures regardless of the environment they find themselves.

And equally important, a pro does this day-in and day-out ... consistancy in obtaining/attaining the exceptional image is one hallmark of a pro.

For me a "pro" is a combination of skill, experience and knowledge used to consistantly capture the exceptional image(s). I know many photogs that have never recieved a dime with their photography, but they shoot like a "pro". Just because one has attained a "pro" designation by an accounting defination ... doesn't make a person a "pro" regardless what the IRS states.

Gary
 
"Professional": Someone who receives money for the job he/she does.

"Expert": Someone who is very knowledgable in all aspects of a given discipline, and able to deal with extreme and difficult circumstances.

You'd be suprised how often these are not the same people!
 
"All" is a vast area. No one knows it all, but someone that calls themselves a "pro" and charges money for their services had better have more proficient knowledge than a beginner or intermediate photographer or else he is not just a "pro" but a damned poor one.

I'm also with tirediron on this... though I feel that before I would call myself a pro, I would have expert levels of knowledge on the area that I am charging for, many "pros" are barely even intermediate in knowledge and expertise yet they have the audacity to charge.
 
I bet there are pros out there who shoot on Nikon Digital with a 28-200 zoom...

Coming from a professional photographer I can tell you that we certainly do not know "all" but I can also say with certainty that I have never met a pro in my years of shooting who shot with a 28-200 zoom and thought they had everything down. You can't become a pro, that is make a full-time living, without a generally good understanding of photography and professional gear. I am not saying you can't take professional quality photos with a D90 for example, as you can, but I am saying that I rarely if ever see real professional photographers shooting with a D90 or a 28-200 zoom.

But, I still believe that all of us pros don't know "all" and would accept the hypothesis that there are photography hobbyists who know as much or, in some cases know more, about the craft.
 
Pros are only people who are paid to do a job. They may get more practice in their field than most, in no way can they know it all. In fact each works within a specific area and may know a lot about that area and not as much about other areas in the same field.
With the internet now you can gather a lot of info before you buy any equipment. Testing is always better if you can. In some cases I found myself knowing more than the guy selling the product, in others I did not and asked. Pros are only human, nothing less, nothing more, with limited time and limited knowledge. Their limits might be beyond those of most in a specific field, their professional field, but there are still limits to it.
 
In my opinion it is not the equipment that makes the (good) pro. It just helps and is a sign of how much the pro cares for the quality of his work. There is no reason why a pro could not shoot with a D90 (I have in fact seen some do it even though it is definitely not the most rugged camera but ruggedness needed has to do with the type of photographs one takes). As for a 18-200 mm for most of what the daily (local) press used, or even class group pictures a pro could easily get away with such an equipment without any problem. I'd rather have a pro work for me with that equipment than a newbie with a D3x, a 24-70 and 70-200 f 2.8 !:hug::
 
"Professional": Someone who receives money for the job he/she does.

"Expert": Someone who is very knowledgable in all aspects of a given discipline, and able to deal with extreme and difficult circumstances.

You'd be surprised how often these are not the same people!

Some people think that they are experts abut obviously are not, but on the flipside, having others think of you as an expert in not wrong.

Now I'm not saying that you should proclaim that you know it all, or take on tasks that are over you head, but being confident and calm, and letting you clients think of you as an expert goes a long way to put them at ease, and let them relax and concentrate on different things. Just make sure you have a final product that meets their expectations.
 
Pro's arent supposed to know it all as has been stated. But I do believe that they should at least know the ins and outs of their camera's from top to bottom. For example, I had a classmate/friend (college) who was out taking a persons senior pictures. The next day in class they said that their camera kept overexposing everything, and they couldn't figure out why, so they didn't get many good pictures. To me if you dont know how to correct a problem like this while on a shoot, you shouldnt be trying to shoot professionally yet.
 

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