his heavy duty wooden tripod onto which he set an eight by ten view camera (the kind you've seenin pictures with the big adjustable bellows at the front). The guy says to my Dad, "I see you've gotone of those PhD cameras." "PhD?" my Dad says. "Yeah, Push Here Dummy." It's a long way tothe bottom of the Grand Canyon. Digital Has Made Me a Better Photographer I read a survey recently of professional photographers. One of the questions was, "how long doesit take to get competent behind the camera?" The average answer was five years. Five years ofstudying, making mistakes and corrections, learning lighting, posing, color harmony and tonalbalance. There is no question in my mind that I am five times the photographer today as I was four or fiveyears ago -- and by then I'd been at it for ten plus years. The immediacy of digital allows us totweak the image, the lighting the pose to create that perfect portrait. So What Are You Paying For? A professional photographer is someone who charges enough for his work so he can tear up andimage and start over if the customer is not satisfied. A professional photographer is someonewhose fees are high enough to allow her to continue her education, always staying abreast ofwhat's current. A professional photographer is someone who can analyze a scene and adjust hislighting to bring out the best in his subject. Who considers the color of the clothing and thebackground and how they compliment one another. Someone that takes the time to perfect thepose, adjust the hands, tilt the head just so to, all while communicating with his subject, helpingthem to relax and look natural. A professional photographer is an artist, a scientist, a psychologist, a student and a businessperson. If they have a studio they're also a janitor, a window washer, a bookkeeper and an interiordecorator. I Am a Professional If you were flat on your back with a golf ball sized brain tumor who would you want sawing off thetop of your skull; the world renowned brain surgeon or the up and coming resident? Who do youwant to have final say on your tax return; the CPA or the bookkeeper? Do you take your Mercedesto the corner mechanic or the certified Mercedes garage? When all of your newly planted shrubsare turning brown do you talk to the person at the big box store garden department or do you gosee the Certified Professional Horticulturist at your lawn and garden store. Creating beautiful portraits of you and your family is my business and my life. I don't do this as ahobby. I don't have a spouse with a full time job and benefits. I don't do just enough to get by; Itake the time and I do whatever I can to make your experience in my studio enjoyable and yourportraits unforgettable. I am a professional photographer.