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Skill levels and types of photographers

Updated: Jan 4

Learning photography involves progressing through various levels of understanding and skill development. While different photographers may progress at different rates, and there’s no strict hierarchy, the following is a general outline of photography learning levels:

Level 1 – The Absolute Beginner:

This level denotes a proficiency level that is no better than an average non-photographer.

Level 2 – Novice

At this level, the photographs produced stand out among non-photographers, but still exhibit major focus and exposure problems.

Level 3 – Learner

This level is characterized by the production of some photographs that are worthy of being printed and hung, but not the entire portfolio. Some of the photos may rely on easily-captured subjects or gimmicks. Almost all focus and exposure problems are overcome, but compositions are still very loose.

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Level 4 – Competent Photographer

This level is characterized by photographs that are often very good from a technical perspective but lack impact, drama, and creativity. Other photographers have some excellent work in their portfolio, but not enough excellent work

to fill out the entire portfolio. The skill level is similar to many part-time photographers.

Level 5 – Skilled Photographer

At this level, the work produced is on par with most full-time professional photographers, regardless of whether the photographer is working professionally. The photos are not only properly exposed, sharp, and have decent lighting, but they also show creativity and drama, and photographers impact the viewer. All published photos from a skilled photographer are beautiful, and their portfolio work is jaw-dropping.

Level 6 – Artist

This level is characterized by the consistent production of work that other photographers envy and notice, making the photographer one of the best in a regional area.

Level 7 – World-class photographer

This level is characterized by the production of work that changes trends in the art form and has a lasting impact on the viewer.

Types of Photographers

Hobbyist photographer

A photographer who is into photography for personal enjoyment without any financial gain is called a Hobbyist.

Amateur photographer

A photographer who is into photography for his enjoyment but also does paid photography occasionally can be called an Amateur Photographer.

Professional photographer

A photographer who is into photography for money and is financially dependent on it is a professional photographer.

Photography skills are unimportant here since an Amateur photographer can be more skilled than a professional photographer.

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