I could have sworn that the FAQ very recently said something about being a site for "professional and enthusiast photographers". Enthusiast seems to have been downgraded, as it now says "professional and amateur photographers".

Am I imaging things?

Is this a positive change for the site?

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    Hmmm, I think it has been changed (but I am not sure). By whom? Should it have been discussed in meta first? We have been getting a lot of questions from the Amateur as opposed to Enthusiast photographers so I suppose the change reflects current reality. – labnut Apr 26 '11 at 21:51
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    Note that in one of its senses, amateur is a synonym for enthusiast. But it also has negative connotations, and the perhaps-neutral connotation of 'inexpert" — which is the one I'm concerned about. – mattdm Apr 26 '11 at 21:54
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    After some more consideration I think we should revert to the Enthusiast title. As you say, amateur is slightly derogatory. By setting a slightly more elitist tone we make the site seem more desirable. And in any case almost every non-professional photographer thinks he is an enthusiast even if others regard him as an amateur. – labnut Apr 26 '11 at 22:50
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    Ah, the vagaries of language -- amateur was, once upon a time, a much stronger term than enthusiast. An enthusiast merely likes what he (or she) is doing; an amateur loves it. – user2719 Apr 28 '11 at 0:26
  • @Stan that's about how I distinct the terms too: enthusiast has a crush on photography, but amateur is married to it. Both love each other, but amateur's love is more mature. Professionals do it also for money, but I wouldn't go too metaphorical with that idea. I think the suggestion in the end of @jrista's answer is a win-win option. – Jari Keinänen Apr 28 '11 at 18:51

Ahh, now I see where it came from:

enter image description here

You can still see this on data.stackexchange.com

Matt, your memory is good.

Incidentally, minus the 'photo editors' part, I still think it is good.

  • Marking this as the answer since it shows I'm not crazy. I like what jrista did with it, though. – mattdm Jun 11 '11 at 13:42

According to the edit history of the FAQ page, that terminology has not changed since it was originally written on Aug 28, '10 by Chills. It has always said "...professional and amateur..."

I am not really sure we want to exclude the amateur photographer...after all, many of them often become the next generation of enthusiast or even professional photographers, so providing our services to them as well as those who are already more serious seems to go with the territory.

I could change it to say "...professional, enthusiast, and amateur photographers." if you prefer.

  • This is nice and inclusive. – mattdm Apr 28 '11 at 20:21

As far as I know, a professional photographer is one who makes money through photography, and an amateur is one who does not. Both can be enthusiasts. The amateur spirit in general is something to be aspired to. I would say that is a good description.


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