Proud Member of the Professional Photographers of America! Learn the difference.
Although a lot of kiddos now a days can pick up their camera phone and take a great picture, professionals photographers have invested years of education, continuing education to learn the trade and invested lots of $ into some very expensive equipment to be able to call them self a PRO.
Article: When Microsoft Frontpage was first released, everyone thought that web designers would go out of business since the secretary or graduate student could now 'design' webpages. You had a whole bunch of people setup shop advertising as 'web developer' and 'webpage in a box' services. It was the 'coolest' job title to call yourself a web designer.
However over time, partly because web design became so accessible, the average person became better at appreciating good web design/pages. Nowadays you don't get very many 'I wanna be a web developer' people - sure there are still bad designers out there, but the professional web designers still very much have a viable business model.
I think photography will head the same way over time - right now, we're in the Frontpage era of digital photography. But over time, you'll find people stop being so attracted to the 'hot trend' of calling themselves a pro or semi-pro photographer when they realize that they can't duplicate the quality of professional photos.
People love the idea of seeing themselves a semi-pro/pro 'photographer' - but over time they come to realize how much time and effort is required to actually make it happen and they give up. It just takes a little while for that to occur.
The good news is though that because so many people are being exposed to photography these days, the appreciation for good photography should go up - and that will only be beneficial for pro photographers.
Now don't get me wrong, we all had to get our start somewhere, the only sad thing I see in the profession is people picking up their camera slapping up a webpage and calling them self a photographer over night. What I see a lot of is, Point, shoot, and aim, seems a little backwards.Know the difference.