13 aspects of a professional photographer

Hungarion version
Mercedes Formula One driver Michael Schumacher of Germany

Fotó: Völgyi Attila / blog.volgyiattila.hu

It is a common question: how can you find out if a photographer is professional or not. There are many different answers but below is one set of possible criteria.

Redesigning Flickr caused the CEO of Yahoo to come out with some strangely articulated sentences. Probably she regretted it a thousand times since then. Her statement made quite a buzz around the world and the web.

PhotoShelter is a competitor for Flickr. They aim their services specifically for professional photographers (you can register with a discount clicking the link). PhotoShelter CEO Andrew Fingerman published his thoughts on  their blog which PetaPixel and here myself as well republish.

These make a professional by the experience of Andrew Fingerman:

  1. Approaches a project in a manner that shows respect for both the subject and the client’s goal.
  2. Works with a client to achieve that goal under specific budget constraints.
  3. Delivers the end result, as agreed upon, on time and in a manner that shows the client’s most critical needs are understood.
  4. Finds ways to make a client’s life easier from the beginning of a project to the end, including saving them time and making them look like a hero.
  5. Is prepared to face any problem with a creative solution, from the most dire to the off-the-wall.
  6. Takes criticism and adjusts (quickly) in order to get the job done.
  7. Can completely pivot among all kinds of changing circumstances.
  8. Presents, negotiates, agrees, executes, invoices, and follows up with consistency and personal pride.
  9. Knows how to pitch and market oneself with accuracy so the promised service is what’s delivered.
  10. Researches the subject of a story and contributes insights and vision that make the end result better.
  11. Builds rapport with a subject in a way that gains unique access, makes them more comfortable, or exposes their personality.
  12. Keeps one’s composure while dodging bombs, borders, and mobs, linebackers and foul balls, sharks, elephants, horses, and bees, roadies, divas, tornadoes, and brides and any other incoming threats or obstacles, and still gets the job done.

And to the final one (#13) I’ll add – there’s nobody I’ve met on this planet who can tell stories like a professional photographer can. Period.

How much important are these to you?

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