Photo Essay

Pro or non-pro?


Pro or non-pro? Those distinctions never really made sense to me. I'm self taught. My stuff is being distributed by an agency, and I'm on Patreon. I have made money from photography. How much? Not even a sizable portion of my overall income. I feel all this has nothing to do with being or not being a photographer. What defines me as a photographer is something entirely different. I can't get my head around the concept that in order to call yourself a photographer you have to a) schlepp tons of insanely expensive or at least impressively large gear around and b) make shitloads of money shooting for Vogue. What I do know - and I initially got this advice from a very seasoned pro - is that it takes quite some time to learn what an image is. Years, decades even. Pictures are tricky. Photography is shock full of surprises - nice and nasty ones. In this respect, I'm pretty much a beginner, although I've been active since 2003. Having made a little progress over those twelve years and practicing every day is what really makes me a photographer. Not my camera and not the amount of money I earn. It's passion, dedication and developing an eye for that strangely oscillating, meandering boundary between pictures and non-pictures. And of course a million of details which come with the process: Photography is not safe | The spying glass | Aerosol is here to stay| The fact of having a body

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8 responses

  • Julie Ann Newell

    Julie Ann Newell gave props (3 Aug 2015):

    beautifully said!

  • Vincent J. DeSanto

    Vincent J. DeSanto gave props (15 Dec 2015):

    Very nice article Marcus, well said.

  • Philip Hunton

    Philip Hunton said (29 Mar 2016):

    Nice story, I find the difference between pro and non-pro is one thing and really an insignificant thing.......if you do it for a living (pro) or not (non-pro). I do it to make a living but I do not consider myself above anyone else who does it purely for fun as I initially did(and still do). Nor do I consider images created by non professionals of any lower quality. It is purely a distinction between someone who does it to put food on the table (and for fun) or someone who does it just because they love it. Im often inspired by non professionals and learn as much from them as I do from my professional peers...... my philosophy "the day I think I know everything about photography is the day after I should have quit"

  • Lynn E. Harvey

    Lynn E. Harvey gave props (3 May 2016):

    Great narrative and I agree with Philip!...images are outstanding!

  • Lynn E. Harvey

    Lynn E. Harvey gave props (9 May 2016):

    Congratulations..well deserved!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (21 May 2016):

    Hell YEAH, Rad!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (21 May 2016):

    Congrats on making Story of the Week!

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