Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/02/23

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Definition of a Professional
From: Marc James Small <>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 20:10:28 -0500

I use my law practice and book-writing to underwrite my professional
shoots.  So be it:  I've never done a TRUE net analysis to see which brings
in more, as I have other business interests, as well, from a minuscule
stock portfolio (no, nary a share of Leica stock on MY books!) to buying
and selling cameras.  I simply lump all my camera-related activities
together and my accountant and the IRS seem happy.  

I don't worry about it, but, then, I'm hardly anxious to join any
Professional Photography Groups other than IlfoPro, to which I've belonged
since close to its inception.  I use Leica, Rolleiflex, Hasselblad or,
hell, even Prewar Contax or Ikoflex or Super-Ikonta or whatever moves my
fancy.  I just go and do the job, do the darkroom work, and let it go at
that.  My clients seem happy:  they pay me!

Another factor is that I do the photography for my law cases.  On occasion
- -- some years, twice a month, others, once a year, I have to document a
scarred face or accident scene or somesuch.  All of that counts, but I've
never cranked that into figuring whether "half my income" comes from being
a photographer.  (And I get legal business, in bulk, from the local
photographic community -- does that count?)

In other words, there ISN'T a definition which really works.  I am whatever
suits me at the moment.  I was doing one of my jazz shoots last weekend,
and in walks one of the local newspaper flacks, Canon EOS and flash and
zooms galore, and pisses the band off with his "three rolls in three
minutes" motor-drive mentality.  This guy makes less each year as a
full-time newspaper photographer than I do in my part-time
photographic-related activities, and knows a lot less than, I suspect, you
guys do about customer satisfaction and posing and effective use of
flashguns and so forth -- but, by the cited  rules of THE "pro club", I
guess he IS a "pro" and I am not.

Tough.  I am what I am, and those who feel otherwise can go stick it where
the sun don't shine.  (For non-North Americans, that is a rude euphemism
for an impossible anatomical feat.  Details on request by private E-mail!)

Sheezh!  Shakespeare was right:  "Much Ado About Nothing"!

Marc  FAX:  +540/343-7315
Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!