When Can You Call Yourself a Professional? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 24th, 2007, 06:17 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Near Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 112
When Can You Call Yourself a Professional?

Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum, and fairly new to the digital video world. This seems to be the best forum on the web for digitial video and I am glad to be a part of it. Now for my first question :)

I know there is alot of professionals on here, so this is mainly aimed at you.

For those of you who are self taught, or in some cases even educated in an institute, at what point did you begin to call yourself a professional.

I'm a begining videographer, and I don't want to jump the gun and call myself professional, but I'd like to know when I technically can. Does it depends on the amount of work you recieve? How talented you are? Your equipment? If you have a crew and a studio? etc.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

-Jenna
Jenna Klingensmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2007, 06:27 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Posts: 2,614
Jenna,

Well, technically you are a professional when you get paid for what you're doing. That said, you have to decide when you are ready to be called that.

Base it on your knowledge and expertise in the field and your ability to turn out consistently good work. If you are doing video work and your customers are happy with what you turn out and they are willing to pay you a reasonable wage for it, then you are truly a professional. You are then a professional videographer.

It is a different story if you wish to call yourself a DP, Director, etc. etc., because then there are much higher standards to live up to and others generally have to agree with your opinion, especially if you wish to promote yourself as such.

Just have fun!

Mike
__________________
Chapter one, line one. The BH.
Mike Teutsch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2007, 06:30 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Virgina, USA
Posts: 276
PROFES'SIONAL, a. Pertaining to a profession or to a calling; as professional studies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenna Klingensmith
...but I'd like to know when I technically can. Does it depends on the amount of work you recieve? How talented you are? Your equipment? If you have a crew and a studio? etc.
You have to have a landline and fax machine, right? Isn't that it? I think that's it...or maybe it's when you meet someone who can't do you what you do - yeah - I think that's more it. Then again, it might be when another professional respects you. Nah, that's goofy.

It's when you can actually do what you're telling people you can do.
__________________
Jeff Butler
Butler Films
Jeffrey Butler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2007, 06:36 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Posts: 1,538
Hi, Jenna.

From my perspective the key is if you make your entire living from making video.

No matter what level you work on, if video work is the difference between eating and going hungry - to the exclusion of everything else. You're a working pro.

Either you're already good enough - or you will be soon - cuz if you aren't - you and/or your family won't eat.

Simple as that.
Bill Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2007, 07:04 PM   #5
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,100
Of course the technical definition is whether you make your primary income from it.

My own personal definition is, are you confident that you can fulfill your client's expectations, for the work you're advertising yourself for? For instance, if you're getting into wedding videos, can you complete the job on time, with no major problems that require excuses on your part? Audio that you don't have to make excuses for, etc etc.

In other words, I think being a true professional means not getting so far in over your head that you can't deliver.
__________________
My Work: nateweaver.net
Nate Weaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2007, 09:27 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
Posts: 711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenna Klingensmith
Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum, and fairly new to the digital video world. This seems to be the best forum on the web for digitial video and I am glad to be a part of it. Now for my first question :)

I know there is alot of professionals on here, so this is mainly aimed at you.

For those of you who are self taught, or in some cases even educated in an institute, at what point did you begin to call yourself a professional.

I'm a begining videographer, and I don't want to jump the gun and call myself professional, but I'd like to know when I technically can. Does it depends on the amount of work you recieve? How talented you are? Your equipment? If you have a crew and a studio? etc.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

-Jenna
A few thoughts on the question. Please add your own.

Being a professional is a number of different things. It is having enough experience to complete the task at hand within the deadline even if you don't know all of the details, because you WILL learn what needs to be known.
It is knowing when to turn down a job, regardless of the money, because you know the end result will damage more than it benefits.
It is hundreds of hours of learning the techniques, and at least the same amount of time applying those techniques while working with people, the infinite undefinable variable.
It is your attitude. It is applying virtually impossible standards of quality upon youself that no other business or corporation would even consider demanding of its employees.
It is paying the bills, and building equity for the future.
It is taking the "sows ear" shoot and turning it into the "silk purse" video.
It is saying, "The day is over. I am going home, and I am proud of what I accomplished. And ... I will do the same thing tomorrow".
It is being recognized by peers.
When you know professional quality, and you know you exemplify that quality, you will know you have achieved:
1. Something precious.
2. Something temporary.
3. Probably the best never ending goal to consistently achieve.
4. Personal gratification.
5. Humility.
6. The wilingness to nurture the growth of those persons who are just beginning the process you started so long ago.
__________________
Waldemar
Waldemar Winkler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2007, 02:04 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Near Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 112
thanks so much

Thanks so much for all of your feedback and quick responses! As I continue to try to establish myself and get my foot in the door you can expect me to be on here asking questions and seeking advice.
Jenna Klingensmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2007, 02:40 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
When can you call yourself a pro? Whenever you want. Don't let others define you. Define yourself. :)
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2007, 08:50 AM   #9
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,012
i'll second what jon said. you decide. when someone asks you what you do, and you say, "i own a video production company," or "i'm a video producer" or however you decide to frame it. when you wear that identity comfortably.

i don't even think you have to be paid, frankly. get a few local credits or get a few things in festivals. get a business card. find a potential business partner who is advancing at your level or greater, and agree to shoot an event or two, to see how you work together. just step into the shoes, and the rest will follow. professional video production is a vast, expanding universe right now, and there's plenty of room at the trough for many levels of production expertise....

and take full advantage of the DVinfo resources. you can get distance-mentored from some of the best in the biz...just ask, and it's amazing who will step up to give you advice and tips. i am always astounded by the friendliness and access here.
Meryem Ersoz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2007, 09:29 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey Butler
You have to have a landline and fax machine, right? Isn't that it? I think that's it....
Nyah, you have to carry BOTH a cell phone and a Blackberry and be so special that you never, ever have to turn them off on the set, even when the shot is mic'ed wireless.

Oh wait, that's a Producer
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2007, 03:14 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Lewisburg PA
Posts: 752
When I see the term "professional" in advertising it always makes me pause. Those working as professionals and who have a reputation in a real professional community rarely have to explain that that's what they are.

If your work is up to a professional standard it should speak for itself.
Peter Wiley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2007, 03:51 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Woods Cross, Utah
Posts: 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
When can you call yourself a pro? Whenever you want. Don't let others define you. Define yourself. :)
Exactly!


ps I just had a thought... When Sonny and Cher were signed, did he go by Pro Bono?
Chris Luker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2007, 02:41 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Colorado
Posts: 104
After you've made all the mistakes an amateur makes.
__________________
"Shoot first and ask questions later"
Art Willig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2007, 09:13 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Mystic Ct.
Posts: 477
When asked if I am a professional, I answer no (since I do not film full time,) however I do professional work.

Bill
__________________
Cinematographers Bring Shadow To Light
Bill Hamell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Jupiter, FL
Posts: 241
Isn't everyone with a 3 ccd camcorder a professional?
Josh Laronge is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:48 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network