It's ok being a hobbyist but you will never make it and achieve anything in your photography if you never become a professional. I'm like that as well but you will forever be an "amateur" who's photographs won't exceed the snapshot status. All the best photographs in this world were shot by pros and not amateur snapshooters who talk about gear all the time and has no plan becoming a pro.
DigitalRev showed it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccf8fQ4AQr8
I myself only improved so much when I started getting paid for my photos. I've recently shot a wedding and it taught me a lot.
You can only become an artist if you turned pro.
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>using the cockney nip channel as irrefutable proof of anything
there are people posting top-level shit here who are nothing more than amateurs, and there are pros such as mr. Rockwell, whose pics are pure diarrhoea
don't get all high and mighty just because you shot a fucking wedding m8
You put pros on a pedestal but in reality being a professional usually means you're on an equal technical and artistic level to a serious hobbyist or artist photographer (which is actually what a lot of famous photographers are/were).
The difference is having more experience (which isn't always make you good, it *can* just make you jaded), and potentially being given access to people and environments that the average hobbyist or artist wouldn't. You might also be more driven to take many images, though they won't usually be images you want to make, which is why many pros have personal portfolios for their own enjoyment. Frankly, most pro photographers are more like businessmen or tradesmen. I've listened to some of them talk and it's apparent that "getting the shot" is actually the number one priority. This isn't to say that they all make bad or mediocre work, it just means that there's times where you'd have to settle on a shot or work some kind of photoshop fuckery to make it redeemable, even if it would never meet the artistic standards for your own personal work.
You sound like a superstitious person. "Going pro" isn't some mythical incantation that you will never be able to chant. Ask yourself what skills are gained by selling your photos and marketing yourself, and endeavor to improve those areas.
Pros usually have a formal education in photography, art, journalism, or similar areas. You get a lot of feedback in a college photography class that you don't get as an amateur learning from books and the internet. You also get a lot more feedback when you are selling yourself and your photos, and, as a pro, you need to start taking that feedback very seriously or else you won't make money/a name for yourself. If you think it's really impossible to get the same or similar kind of feedback without changing careers, though, then you are a rube. Ansel Adams was a concert pianist and gave piano lessons for much of his career. If you can make money selling your photos, then good for you, but don't think that shooting a wedding gives you elite knowledge that can't be gained any other way.
Most pros are still massively concerned about gear, and they do talk about it.
It's not "lel, just go out into the street and shoot" for most.
It's "prepare shit on a meticulous gearfag level the likes even /p/ has few of, because you don't want to fail customers".
>being a professional usually means you're on an equal technical and artistic level to a serious hobbyist or artist photographer
pros know how to make flawless bland photos, nothing else. they are the most unartistic fucks on earth. source: any pro portfolio, ever.
>selling out is a bad thing
LOL that just means I'm better than amateurs because people are paying for my photos.
The best cooks out there are chefs and not your mom.
Everyone knows that the best athletes out there play professionally.
you remind me of a guy I knew from playing World of Warcraft. He was obsessed with being the best. That was his only goal. And he literally sounded like that guy from the Onyxia Wipe video. Sure, he got to clear Sunwell and I didn't, but I got to enjoy playing the game and he didn't.
So, enjoy bragging about how much better you are than us scrubs, I guess. God knows that was his only pleasure.
Yeah, that's why people piss and moan when 'amateurs' buy a 'professional' camera. They just used cheat codes, instead of progressing through the campaign, completing the necessary side-quests and unlocking the prerequisite achievements.