12 Differences Between Pro and Amateur Photographers


  1. The pro envies the amateur’s artistic freedom; the amateur envies the pro’s lifestyle
  2. The pro buys the cheapest equipment that can get the job done; the amateur buys the most expensive equipment for projects he will never do.
  3. The amateur has to earn money to finance his photography; the pro has to resort to photography to finance his life.
  4. Models fall in love with the pro – and then regret it; amateurs fall in love with the model – and then regret it
  5. Amateurs drive BMWs; pros drive Protons
  6. Amateurs READ articles in photo magazine and think, “I can write that, too!”; Pros WRITE those articles and think, “Anyone can write this. But why don’t they?”
  7. Camera-shop owners love amateurs; camera-shop owners hate pros
  8. Amateurs think pros are at the top of their game; pros know that he is just an order-taker (most of the time)
  9. Amateurs THINK pros make tons of money; pros KNOW that amateurs make tons of money (not necessarily through photography, tho)
  10. Amateurs like to be seen with 30 kilos of equipment; pros think nothing of being seen with a crappy point-and-shoot camera
  11. Amateurs try to dress like pros; pros try to dress like amateurs
  12. Amateurs dream of going pro some day; pros dream of becoming amateurs some day.


15 thoughts on “12 Differences Between Pro and Amateur Photographers

  1. I love photography but I don’t have an expensive DSLR. I take photography as a hobby. I use a simple digital compact camera to shoot anything which I think it’s cool. So far many people love the outcome. They say I’m a pro. Keh! Keh! Keh!

    Basically you don’t need expensive device to capture still images like a pro. What differentiate the pros and amateurs is the art value behind their photos.

    Right now I am experimenting with my Android camera app called Vignette. Love the pre-installed effects and filters that come together with the app.

    And I don’t make money with photography. I have another serious job to take care of.

    • Pok Den

      The more I think of it, the more the line between a pro and an amateur get blurred. Somewhere on the ‘Net I read that a pro is anyone who earns at least 70% of their income from photography. But then what about the guy who makes super fantastic photos but never earns anything from it? Isn’t he a pro, too?

      The thing is society right now puts a premium on pro status. But should this be? Not too long ago amateur golfers were held in high esteem while their pro counterparts were perceived as prostitutes. Go figure…

  2. Item 11: Amateurs try to dress like pros

    Never in a million years would I want to dress like photography pros. Why would I?!! *shudder thinking about the fashion disaster

    • Ah! But wait till you get more involved with the activity. You’ll be in cargo pants, denim shirts, carry-all vests with maybe 80 pockets, worn out hiking boots, tattered black beret and at least 6 media passes plastered all over your anatomy.

      But the stink is, you’ll still look good. You always do

  3. Amateurs take lousy pictures and the pics remain lousy. Pros take lousy pictures but people still say are good…. muahaha! Happy new year bro. Wishing you more teaching gigs ahead.

    • How right you are. The thing is, once a photographer earns a solid reputation, he can output the crappiest photos and still elicit the ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaaaahs’ – especially from photographers who want to be perceived as pros.

      Happy New Year to you, too, bro. Hey, guess what? My next 9 teaching gigs will see me instructing on the fundamentals of photography. Time to break out the compact and dress like an amateur…

  4. psstt..
    just to inform.. you’ve been relisted to kata kama. Thank heavens you hv started writing again.. i waited like.. well, foreverlah, for your updates previously.

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