La crème de la crème

What is the difference between a “professional” photographer and a beginner or an amateur?

While there are many answers to this question and furthermore certainly not the one and only true one, there is particularly one thing that I have realized lately and that I want to talk about today.

A good photographer knows which part of his work he shows to his client, and which not. Even more important he only shows the very, very best of his work to promote himself, the crème de la crème.

Let’s look at an example: A day of shooting concludes in maybe 1000 pictures. Now how many of those are okay? How many of them are good and how many are amazingly good? Obviously that answer depends on the person shooting and arguably is another difference between a “good” and “okay” photographer. But just for this example let’s assume that no matter who is shooting within 1000 shots there is going to be the one or another 10/10 and also a couple of 8’s and 9’s. 

Now what you will see is that more inexperienced photographers, and I count myself still into those, just put out anything they think is presentable. And that is basically anything between a 7 and a 10. On the other side you will often find portfolios (or Instagram account if you are to lazy to visit websites) from prestigious photographers to be filled with 10/10’s. Same goes for lesser known but in my eyes still very good photographers. 

So why is that, I asked myself and came to a couple of answers. One is surely the fact that those photographers have years of active shooting experience and also literally millions, if not billions, of pictures to choose from. Another reason is their obvious ability to probably also just shoot more 10’s in general. But what I also feel plays a big role is that they seem to know their audience, their target. They know how to select between what is worthy to show and what is not. Something that I hope to learn with more experience. So with that goal in mind I will continue to put out the 6’s and the 7’s alongside some 9’s and 10’s because the only way to learn is to try! And as we say in Germany: There hasn’t been a master who has fallen out of the sky.


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