I ask you this question: What is the difference between a lawyer and a photographer? It takes both years of actually studying their craft before they can actually call themselves professional. Both are only as good as the last case or image that they make. They are both chosen by people who use them because of their rare talents to describe and argue a point. Okay, so some of you will say that it takes longer to become a lawyer than to become a photographer because of the many years of college. I would have to say that you are correct on that point, but I would have to point out that it takes just as long to develop a style and art form in the photography world.
When I started out, I remember hearing John Biever (one of the best follow focus photographers ever) say that it takes 1,000 rolls of film (36 frames to a roll) before you can really understand this craft. That might sound like nothing in this day of digital images, but in the days of chrome slides, this was no small feat unless you had deep pockets. The cost of one roll of quality slide film would cost between $14-25 to shoot with processing cost attached. So basically, it would take about 36,000 frames before you had actually developed your eye to capture the correct moments on that one piece of film. Now take in to account, that you would not just hold down the button and shoot five frames per second, instead you would look for the image and then think about the image before actually shooting the picture because each frame cost you money. So, you may ask yourself, what is the difference between the two?