Editorial by Mina Thevenin

PROFESSIONAL.  You either know that you are a PROFESSIONALProfessional Photographer for Photography World.ORG article Splitshire Image PHOTOGRAPHER or if you are asking yourself the question, am I a professional photographer? Then you probably are. For many of us the answer boils down to one five letter word, but we will get to that later.


Study and practice are important and ongoing life-long pieces of process for the professional. Whether it is photography or any subject of interest: STUDY. I read about photography—from iconic gurus to internet articles—and I pay attention to what works in photos as well as what doesn’t work. There is lots of free social media available to study photographers’ images! I am drawn to the photographer’s image that is technically and creatively superior, in other words it knocks me off my feet, and then I field test the technique for myself. I grab my camera and “photography” into nature, city, or find my subject test at home, and I photograph it over and over again. A lot of times I go back to the photography site the next day once I understand the nuances of the environment—changing light, traffic of people or animals. Practicing a theme with thousands of shots prepares the professional for the situation of making the image of a lifetime, because there may only be that one shot of opportunity to get it right. 

And when I don’t get the shot? I learn from it. That’s what professionals do—there is always an opportunity to learn. Fortunately there are tons of software available for ease of post-editing. It’s surprising how many images that looked not so good, were actually improved after editing. I acknowledge software editing to be akin to Ansel Adams’ darkroom processing. Ultimately, post processing the great image is the professional photographer’s personal artistic determination. It can become the professional’s signature style. 


Does expensive equipment make the photographer a professional? No. Nor is it the five letter word answer—I will be getting to that shortly. Cell phone photography is exploding and, again, with image editing the cell photography opens the door forProfessional Photographer Article by Mina Thevenin for Photography World.ORG Splitfire Image millions of people, including professionals, to take advantage of its ever improving photography functions. 

Image Bees Around Candied Sugar (below) , published in the Photography World article, How to Photograph Flowers Professionally. I shot this image with my cell phone while I was at the garden-hardware store. 

© Bees Around Candied Sugar. Text. Photograph by Mina Thevenin

 Leica X-U_splash

There is no arguing the facts that lenses and top end cameras open up capabilities for the photographer, but high end equipment does not a professional photographer make.

Now is the time we talk about the five letter word. The answer…

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