There's no question that photography has come a long way in the past twenty years. Of course, this is true for photographers as well. In today's modern world of picture taking, everyone that owns a camera seems to thing that they are a professional photographer all of a sudden. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that simply is not true.
To be a professional photographer, one must posses a certain set of skills. You must be able to capture a breathtaking or thought provoking photo that no one else can. This can only be done by knowing both your equipment and the proper way to use it. Can you block out the sun or capture it in order to take the perfect picture? Anyone can take a picture, but it takes a true professional to know each specific camera, lighting and angle detail to be a true photographer. Luckily, there are certain attributes and characteristics that enable a normal person to tell the difference between a professional photographer and a casual picture taker.
The Shape of the Equipment
Although somewhat obvious, a photographer gets the most out of their equipment. If you see someone that looks like they have employed MacGyver to invent a contraption to hold their most expensive lens together, the chances are, that person is a professional. Seriously, think about it. Would a normal person hold on to their equipment until it couldn't be used anymore or would they simply buy a new, low end camera?
How Do You Use the Word Stock?
The word stock means the same thing to all different types of people except a professional photographer. If you put an athlete, lawyer, teacher, accountant and doctor in the same room, the chances are each person will use the word stock in reference to a stores' merchandise or about that market that also includes bonds. Coincidentally, if you put a handful of professional photographers in a room, the word stock would have a very different meaning.
For obvious reasons, a professional photographer is way more concerned with everyone else's appearance except their own. Don't get it wrong, a professional photographer is not a dirty person with bad hygiene. They just make a living on how other people look. That is their main concern. A messy haircut, sloppy clothes or 5:00 o'clock shadow is of no concern to a professional photography, they aren't the one that's in the picture. I'm sure that you would be surprised at how well they might clean up for a prospective client meeting though.
The Amount of Equipment
Casual photo takers will usually have a single camera and, maybe a flash extension. This is child's play compared to a professional photographer. Let's see, a large and small camera, five or more lenses, a tripod, flashes, memory card holders, a laptop and hard drive should just about cover it all. Yes, this is everything that a professional photographer will have with them at any given time. It's very possible that a pro will even have more equipment than this on hand.
Bryant Heaps is an avid photographer and a photography blogger. He likes to take photos of nature and animals. He is also part of Inkjet Photo Paper team, a site where you can purchase inkjet photographic papers.