In a world where visual arts are becoming increasingly popular with most of us seeking to buy that latest camera or phone with the highest visual technology because let’s face it; we like to look good on camera. Millions of us having perhaps taken millions of selfies by now and photos of our friends in parties. Does that certify us to be called professional photographers? Photography is quite an interesting field. Many of us most probably regard it as just as the activity that we publish on our Curriculum vitae under the hobbies subheading; Or that thing we engage in when we have some free time to spare or when we need to send a postcard to family or friends during the holidays or garnish our social media pages. The question remains, who really is a professional photographer? Is photography even considered as a profession?
The answer is No. Photography is not a profession. It is a trade. What is the meaning of this you ask? A professional is one who receives an income for what they know; to talk, profess, give information and offer guidance e.t.c but not to produce. Trades on the other side are occupations which require that one produces something tangible for pay. They require a lot of time to master and a great level of skill because one is not paid for their knowledge but what they can produce. However, unlike proffesions, a professional photographer may not necessarily require a college degree or a license. Photographers obtain their pay from creating, delivering, licensing or selling photographs, which are tangible materials.Read more at kimjew.com
Most photographers specialize in a specific type of photography. One could chose to be a portrait photographer who takes pictures of people at weddings and other social events or in studios check out on this site. Commercial photographers take pictures to be used in advertisements, books and catalogs while scientific photographers take pictures for scientific or medical data.
Photo journalists capture images to illustrate stories on television broadcasts. Aerial photographers operate on aircrafts where they take pictures of landscape and other structures. Fine arts photographers put their photos up for sale to the public as pieces of art.
As photography is a trade, it means that one may not necessarily need a college degree unless it is a requirement for a job description especially for commercial, photojournalists and scientific photographers. Portrait and fine arts photographers only require technical proficiency. However a certified degree could give a photographer a competitive edge over the sea of others competing for the same job.
Generally though, a professional photographer needs to be artistic with good hand-eye coordination and eyesight and must possess soft skills. Good interpersonal skills while dealing with clients is also very important.