I remember when I first started out in photography, what seems like 2 lifetimes ago..and I remember asking a seasoned Pro " what's the difference between a pro and a hobbiest photographer? " he looked DOWN at me and replied in almost a whisper, as if it were top sectret " a pro will keep less than 10% of what he shoots, a hobbiest keeps them all."

At the time i was 17 years old I did not realise the significance of this statement but over the years it has became more and more prevelent and has always almost haunted me. Do I count my total shoot images to ensure I keep less than 10%..NO..but after I do my first cut, second cut, edit then final cut...im always testing myself to see what % I do keep.. While not to satisfy the old man watching over me from somewhere today, but more as a guide as to how accurate I am performing when I pull the trigger. I like to assess myself in this matter.

The reason for my assesment is in my understanding there are two Schools of Photographers, one school of photographers know what they want, create and capture...the other school is the school of shoot and hope...the gaurdians of post production!!!.. While both can create fantastic images there are two very different mind sets..one of pre creative vision and one of post creativity..to have both is the key. So...back to my assessing of me...I assess my keep image volume because if i shoot for example a wedding and with 600 frames i keep 100 then for 500 frames I have not been thinking...while during moving events like dancing etc I may run a sequence of frames at high speed this maybe accounts of another 100 of the 600 said possible shots...so now I say for 400 frames was i guesing and hoping...the very thing I despise?...NO longer the case because after the first 3 weddings I ever photographed I realised that the point and shoot at everything and hope to catch is what the untrained, unqualified, and non pro photographers do....spending many many hours in post production. By putting the thinking head on I can reduce my shoot and strike rate to a 35%-40% keep rate.

Now, what does this mean for the client...in reality..nothing...this saves me time and makes my work more profitable....The only possible gain for the client is they get there images faster and the image contant is less random and more composed. Where possible, taking 2 seconds to think before shooting can save hours of trawling through hundreds of images containing silly errors and can save hours of photoshop time.

So other than the fact of a pro photographer making a living from photography and hopefully being qualified to some level or having a natural abillity I think the difference between a pro and hobby photographer is how your mind is thinking before you press the button or, not thinking. When filling your refridgerator counts on pressing the button at the right time it changes the thought pattern..if it doesn't then enjoy your hobby!!!