What does it mean to be 'Professional' and why does it matter?
I have been a professional photographer for over 25 years, and it means more than you realize. Saying I am a professional not only implies that I have a code of conduct, ethics and standards; it also states that I am accountable, knowledgeable, trusted, and prepared.
Professionalism can clearly define how you do business, yet it can also clearly define how something is manufactured, produced, or created. When a product is professionally made it implies a certain level of quality and craftsmanship which is recognized to be the best of the best.
A true professional knows how to make it happen even when they don't feel like it or haven't done it before. Don't let experience fool you into believing professionalism is easy. If it was truly easy, everyone would say they were a professional. When you say you are a professional, people hold you to it and your work speaks for itself.
This is why people like to hire professionals because it raises the bar. When you see a professionally produced image it represents value and commands awareness. Naturally, we are drawn to it.