The Difference between Professional and Amateur Photographer 

Not all people who own a camera is considered a photographer. Professional photographers go through certain training about lighting and angles and that sets them apart from the amateurs. Professionals are paid heftily for their services while amateurs may or may not be paid, depending who their clients are.  


But how do you know if a photographer is considered as a professional or an amateur? You may run through the five questions below to determine if you’re dealing with an amateur or a professional photographer. While professionals have a much higher rate than amateurs, you will most likely get the best results with them.   

  1. Is the photographer formal in dealing with clients?

Photographers are professionals who are hired for their services. They’re like engineers and architects in a way, which means they should also send in written quotes using professional letterheads. Photographers are expected to deal their every transaction along with a formal contract. No project should be purely verbal.  

  1. How do they tackle licensing? 

Photos are considered intellectual properties. You should always know what the licensing clause of the photographer is because that’s very important. You have to know if the license of the photos is included in the package and all the fine print that comes with it.  

  1. Does the photographer have a full portfolio of samples?

A seasoned photographer will have no qualms about showing you their portfolio from the different events and photo shoots that they have covered. The more photos you see, the more you know that the photographer has a lot of previous clients and that he is highly experienced.  

  1. Does he have insurance?

Believe it or not, photographers need insurance as well. And a photographer who is insured is most likely a professional. Photographers who carry a license usually have a studio that is covered by what’s called the business general liability insurance. Amateurs rarely have this.  

  1. Do all the photos look professional?

There’s a big difference between the photos taken by amateurs and photos taken by professionals. The training of professional photographers shows in every photo they shoot. Amateurs, on the other hand, tend to produce flat images. Professional photographers take advantage of the lights to enhance their subject. They also see an entirely different world through their lenses that amateurs rarely see.  

On Hiring Professional Photographer 

Always run through these questions whenever you’re on the lookout for a professional photographer. You should also realize that each photographer has his own special skills and talents. No two photographers are the same so you must be very discerning when it comes to choosing which professional to assign a particular project to.  

So before you go out there and hire the first photographer you meet, assess first his or her level of professionalism. You should also make sure that the photographer is well-experienced in the photo shoot you want to do. There are different types of photography and each one requires special skills. Be sure to hire somebody who is an expert in your area of interest. 

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