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| p.5 #19 · CPS Eligibility Requirements |
The word "professional" is just a marketing term and we see it applied to lots of products and services. Fortunately, it looks like Canon is trying to be like most other vendors and is providing an equitable level of service to people who have paid similar amounts for the same products and services. Professionals need to try to shake off their sense of entitlement. There is no reason why, when why you pay the same $ for gear and service as everyone else, that you should be entitled to a higher level of service. The shmucks of the world are tired of subsidizing the elite.
The word "professional" isn't "just" a marketing term. In fact, it isn't a marketing term at all. It has far greater depth and meaning than that. The fact that it has lost some of its meaning ... or ALL of its meaning according to your post ... is simply a sad commentary on the state of business today and the overall state of client/vendor relationships.
One of the meanings behind the word "professional" is that it communicates very high levels of both experience and excellence. Where the experience and excellence have yet to be attained, the word "professional" can be applied to someone whose behavior, attention to detail, communication skills, etc. demonstrate that he or she is heading in the directions of accumulating experience and is always striving for excellence.
Professionals, by no stretch, need to "shake off their entitlement." If one has truly reached the level of a professional and charges accordingly ... in ANY profession ... they have earned and are entitled to respect, admiration, every penny of their fees and, on occasion, special treatment. Why? Because true professionals are a rare breed and always have been a rare breed. They represent a mere handful of skilled, dedicated and accomplished individuals within any given field. There's an old expression that goes something like, "85% of all things that all people do they do poorly." The rarity of the professional deserves its own recognition.
Schmucks, on the other hand, are a dime a dozen. It's the schmucks who need to need to shake off their sense of entitlement. Schmucks don't care about excellence. Schmucks don't care about developing communication skills. Schmucks don't care about learning from their experiences. This is why they constantly and continually fall by the wayside as time goes by and, more often than not, end up doing work that bears no resemblance whatsoever to their originally chosen field.
By and large, it's the professionals who survive. That's why we honor them in their old age. I ought to know. I'm a professional.
Wait, did I miss something? Isn't anyone who owns a cell phone camera now a professional? Wasn't there recently a photographer recognized for this because he used his cell phone to capture images in a war zone because he claimed that it was easier than carrying a bag of heavy equipment?
If this is the case, I am surprised that Canon is not making Professional level cell phone cameras and offering CPS membership and benefits to those that buy them.
Its interesting how Photography Professionals are now being defined by the amount of gear they own instead of what they create and accomplish with that gear. The facts are standards are changing. The demanding photo editors of the past are retiring, What was not acceptable in the past is now becoming acceptable.
Professional photographers have taken a big hit in both opportunities and income because every Tom, Dick, Harry, or Mary that owns a Digital Camera is now a photographer whether they have developed their skills or not. Take a few minutes and look at what a photographer that sells an image to Getty gets paid.
I will say and admit that there are lots of talented photographers that exist. Many of them do not claim to be professional but do professional quality work. There are also those that care more about the art they create, the moment in time they caught, or the wildlife behavior they captured.
There are lots of reason's to photograph, and not all of them involve making a living from it. Those that do, should be respected. I also realize besides a level of experience and competence, a lot of how much income you earn as a photographer has more to do with marketing skills than it does the actual photography.