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Thread: Amateur V's Hobbyist

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    Amateur V's Hobbyist

    Here is the story...
    My son works at a restaurant as an apprentice chef. A couple of weeks ago after a great meal there, I decided I would go outside and take a photo just for my own pleasure.
    There was a bright red sunset behind the premises, and the place was fairly well lit up. It turned out to be a reasonably good shot. (Can't show because it goes against site rules)
    My son said it was a great image, and he would love to show his boss. So I got a $2.00 frame from a Op Shop, printed it out on my printer, went there for afternoon tea yesterday and my son gave it to his boss. His boss then showed it to his parents, who happened to be there at the time. His father came over for a chat, talking about photography. And said "so you're an amateur photographer. Not thinking I didn't think there was a difference.

    Later on, my son's boss came out and said to put my name on the photo, and give him some business cards. Then it came to me........

    Ok. I'm a hobbyist. I take photos for my own pleasure. If an image relating to someone, of either them or something of theirs (example.. property, car or motorbike) is pretty good, I would gladly give them a copy of the image. (A4 or 5x7) Or even give them the finished file and say they can get it printed to a larger size if they want.

    So to be classed as an amateur. Would I do the same thing but do it for some financial gain or some recognition as a photographer?

    Do you think there is a difference between an amateur and a hobby photographer?
    Geoff
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    Not sure it helps but I think an amateur doesn't charge, and a hobbyist is defined under ATO tax guidelines and can also earn a small secondary tax exempt income.

    The word amateur is also a term that can describe the approach taken, or the results, ie "what an amateur !!"

    If you are a golfer there is also a very distinct distinction - you are a professional even if you accept a $500 goft voucher for winning a local comp

    So, in essence, it depends on the context of the description I think
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    Depends on the context, as kiwi said, there is a difference in context if you are talking about ATO matters.

    Day to day the context isn't too dissimilar really, neither would be classified as having formal training or qualifications but a hobbyist just does it for the enjoyment and for no financial gain. While an amateur will generally not do it for financial benefit but are more likely to receive / want it, IMO.

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    Thanks Kiwi.
    Here is another example that may contradict that theory.
    Ok.. I have spent around $10,000 and plan to spend more, on gear and and other stuff. Not to mention the countless number of kilometres I've travelled just to take photos.

    My brother has spent $50,000 on a boat. (Well all three of my brothers have) Endless amounts on fishing gear, fuel and a licence. His hobby is fishing. He is not an amateur fisherman.

    Just found this: on Mustafa Davis's Blog http://www.mustafadavis.com/2010/09/...-photographer/
    PROFESSIONAL VS AMATEUR VS HOBBYIST
    The following figures have been debated about in the past but represent the majority rule in the world of photography. A professional photographer is someone who earns 100% of his/her living from photography. (This is the definition required to get into the Nikon and Canon pro support organizations). An Amateur is someone that earns at least 50% of their income from photography. These are typically weekend wedding photographers or people who sell prints at the weekend fairs, etc. A hobbyist is someone who likes taking pictures but doesn’t get paid for their photography.


    Do you think this is right?
    Last edited by geoffsta; 21-11-2011 at 5:37pm.

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    G'day Geoff

    Over the years [both in the photography + other professions] I have met so-called 'professionals' whose results were pretty amateurish; I have met many amateurs / hobbyists whose professionalism was of a high order, and I have met many professionals whose work was so 'technically professional' I realise that I will never reach 'their' lofty heights ~ their skills, knowledge, training etc was well beyond my abilities

    Those who operate in a 'professional' manner, I talk to, learn from and try to emulate / imitate [whatever you want to call it] in my day-to-day dealings with others. Others, the dags, having made my own judgements about, I pass them by

    Regards, Phil
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    I dunno, I have a problem with any definition of amateur that includes money in any field, let lone I'd prefer part time professional myself.

    Hobbyist is ok too but can be earning it not but it's more of a hobby than a part time job.

    Semantics

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    Hobbyist can definately earn $$ I recently applied for some changes to my ABN (not to do with photography) and there is a section in there regarding the guidelines surrounding income and being classified as a hobbyist. I believe as KIWI stated in his first post, a hobbist is able to earn a small amount of $$ tax free, this is partly because some may insist in paying for a piece of work because they feel the need to if they were to take a copy of it... By allowing a small tax free amount in your income means the small proceeds you make from a few photos will not need become complicated. Let's face it, a rare few bucks here and there for taking a pic is not a multi billion $$ trade...
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    Amor fati!
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    spelling aside my answer would be potato.

    it all comes down to the individuals definition.... untill you start talking about professionals.

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    If you have to pay tax on your income from photography, then you can also deduct your expenses and the depreciation on your equipment, and claim back the GST on everything you buy that relates to your photography.

    That's why the tax department allows you to earn some money from your hobby without paying tax, as most hobbyists will spend more on their equipment than they earn, and if this was the case, you'd be deducting more tax than you would have to pay.
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    I agree with Kiwi's definition. When I was younger I became a Scuba Instructor. Would teach on the weekends, but was not my mine income. Couldn't claim tax deductions as I was a "Hobbyist". Quit work and started teaching fulltime, became a professional and all equipment etc was tax deductible. Gave it away after 20 years in the business and now I am an amateur, not in the way I dive or my attitude to my diving, but don't get paid for it anymore. Photography I feel fits in the same mold, lots of participants, lots of money spent, but not pro until you earn your living from it.

    Danny
    Last edited by Diverdan; 22-12-2011 at 2:47pm. Reason: *edit for spelling

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