How I Became A Sports Photographer
The definitions of amateur and professional, in the context of photography, are not entirely categorical. A professional photographer is likely to take photographs to make money, through the display, sale or use of those photographs, while an amateur photographer may take photographs for pleasure and to record an event, emotion, place, as a person without a monetary motivation. However, much photography is preparatory to other activity, or forms a partial but significant part of a person’s job role; for example, a crime scene detective, a ship’s photographer, a reporter on a local paper or an estate agent, while an amateur may make considerable sums entering work for prize money or through occasional inclusion of their work in magazines or the archive of an agency.
The term professional may also imply preparation, for example, by academic study, of the photographer in pursuit of photographic skills. There is no compulsory registration requirement for professional photographer status, so ambivalent or overlapping concepts apply here as they do in other areas of unregulated artistic activity, such as painting or writing.
Photographers are also categorized based on the subjects they photograph. Some photographers explore subjects typical of paintings such as landscape, still life, and portraiture. Other photographers specialize in subjects unique to photography, including street photography, documentary photography, fashion photography, wedding photography, war photography, photojournalism, aviation photography and commercial photography.