Amateur photographers are constantly discussing what gear is best, the specs of lenses, the rigidity of their tripod, etc. While they are doing that on their blogs, forums, etc, – they aren’t actually taking photos, or post-processing photos already taken, etc. A lot of these guys are hobbyists that really love gadgets, and are focused on technical specifications. They enjoy just having the knowledge of the tools, sometimes more than shooting the photos, and usually a LOT more than the post-processing.
Professional photographers worry about rates, finding ways to cut costs, new regulations/laws, etc. They are typically focused on either selling a service or better yet, turning their service into a product, and establishing their brand. Turning a profit and surviving in a very cut-throat industry is an all-consuming task, as digital cameras and smartphones have turned everyone into a “fauxtographer”. A lot of these professionals have turned a little bitter (with good reason), as they see people offering $25 photo shoots and $75 headshots. As you can guess, most of the people that offer their work that cheap do not really have a business license, insurance, etc, and yet claim to be professionals. I see most of these types to be delivering SOOC (straight out of camera) shoots, and not doing any real post-processing. This makes being a real professional delivering quality products harder, as you have to continuously explain why your rates are higher than the people “advertising” themselves on Craigslist as “professional photographers”.
So, what do I worry about? Light.
I am not a professional, so I don’t have to worry about cost of running a profitable business.
I am an amateur, but one who realized that the gear is only a smart part of getting what you really need – the final image. I buy the gear that I need, and I rent anything else that I might need for a particular shoot.
I worry about light – where it is coming from, where it is landing, how it is reflecting, and ultimately, how the sensor is recording it. I add light where it needs to be added, remove it when I don’t want it in a location, and change the temperature when it is too warm or too cold.