new question of a different day


TPF Noob!
Feb 1, 2006
Reaction score
in the middle of north carolina
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
There is a lot of talk going about on different threads about things that i have an interest in. One of them starts way to far in advance of the real issue. In your opinion only, please not historic or webster definitions, What is a professional photographer.
A professional photographer, in my opinion, is one who does it for a living, or at least makes money from it. It can be a second job, but it has to be a paying job. It does not require formal training, although that's usually associated with it (and for technical things, technical training is usuallly required).

For instance, I'm an electronics technician. I have no formal electronics training other than what I got on the job. I just started studying electronics one day when I was about 15, becuase I wanted to be a ham radio operator. I wound up, without even having high school under my belt, much less a degree, being an electronics technician who works on air traffic control systems. And don't worry, I'm a good electronics technician, so you're safe in the air.... Honor Graduate from my class when the army sent me to the tech school.

Which brings up another point, one I won't get into here, because I will rant about it. I'll just say the point: dropping out of school was the most singularly dumb thing I've ever done.

In any case, I get paid for being an electronics technician, and it's what I do for a living. I'm an amateur radio operator, which as far as electronics goes, is virtually the same as what I do for a living: I repair communications systems when they break and align them when the don't work. I have to, becuase otherwise I can't use them to carry out my ham radio communications. But I don't have to talk on the radio to earn a living, I just like to do it. So I'm an amateur there.

Another side: come this festival here on post this July, I intend to pitch in at the arts & crafts booth my unit is renting, and stack up some prints for sale--assuming I can get any prints worth stacking up for sale. However, even if they sell like wildfire, that will not make me a professional photographer. I earn my bread from electronics, and photography is just a hobby.
mysteryscribe said:
There is a lot of talk going about on different threads about things that i have an interest in. One of them starts way to far in advance of the real issue. In your opinion only, please not historic or webster definitions, What is a professional photographer.

To me, a professional photographer is someone who makes money / persists in attempting to make money from taking pictures, approaches the activity as a commercial enterprise. Superior technical or aesthetical skill and quality is not automatically assumed when I see the word 'professional''s a business-term; an identified market for photography.
"Professional' should indicate a certain level or degree of service - a way of doing things. In short an overall feel that the person is reliable and will sort out any problems you have without quibble. You should also expect a degree a competence - the pictures might not set the world on fire but they will be adequate.
Unfortunately the word - like Art - has been abused so it no longer has any meaning. These days owning a camera appears to entitle the owner to call themselves a 'photographer' - and being asked by a mate to take a snap of their wedding qualifies one as being 'a professional'.
Mind you, you get the same problem with plumbers, electricians, carpet fitters..... I guess photography is no different. It's just that a leaking pipe and a huge bill tells you that you have been visited by a cowboy, but with photography people don't seem to know when they've been had ;)
Everybody is right of course. It is a person who has income from photography... it is also a marketing tool which nobody regulates... Anyone who can convince someone else he is.... is (bill clinton there).

According to the state of North Carolina if you pay your license fee you is one.

I would hope that the skill level of the photographer was higher, if he is a professional. He probably wont last long, if he can't produce a high percentage of acceptable prints. The difinition of acceptable is whatever the customer will pay for. If the term is to be used like a professional golfer for instance, you would expect a high degree of skill. Then again a lot of guys get a tour card, then wind up as teaching pros in some tiny little country club somewhere.

The thing I would hope but which was never true, was that the photographer charging 5k did a 10 times better job than the photog charing five bucks. (buck being slang around here for a hundred dollar bill). If the 500 photog does an acceptable job, how good does the 5k photog have to be. Pretty good I would hope. I will let you judge from the pictures you have seen.

So, we have two scales at least. And a hundred tiny definitions to work with. I think If my daughter were getting married again and I couldn't do it, I would throw a dart at the yellow pages and pray.
So what's the penalty for not being licensed? And who do the license fees go to? What does the license entitle you to?

This all sounds very odd to me....
Goes into the state budget I guess. I have no idea the penalty, I have never known anyone to get caught. I might be the only one with a license in the state for all I know. It entites you to be able to say Im a licensed professional photographer, not a cab driver lol.

Also my son in law was asked for his once by a potential customer. We never did know why. Do you think the state is going to miss an oppurtunity to tax a business. Wow you don't know your government at all. It is called a priviledge. you get the priviledge of paying them a hundred bucks a year.

I would be very surprised if all states dont hae something similar. Hell I even had the city try to make me buy one.

Now this was back when I had a studio and was a business. I dont have one now
JamesD said:
WTF? You have to be licensed??

It just a business license most cities and counties require them to business with in there limits. If you have fiscal store or studio you also need an occupation license.

Most reactions