Professional (noun): A person engaged in a specified activity, especially a sport or branch of the performing arts, as a main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.
I am a professional equine photographer.
I am an amateur rider (trust me, if you saw me ride, this would be abundantly clear).
I do not train horses.
I do not get paid to ride, lunge, etc any horse.
I happen to be a social media “influencer” with a decent size following.
I am an “influencer” not because of my riding abilities.
I am an influencer because of my photography, modeling, & writing abilities. I am an influencer because of my marketing abilities. I am an influencer because of my understanding of social media platforms. None of these things correlate with my ability to ride or train any horse.
100% of my annual salary comes from being an equine photographer. Not once have I made a dime off riding or training a horse.
I will likely be considered a professional in 2021 instead of an adult amateur.
Which blows my mind in a lot of ways.
This means I would have to compete against professional horse trainers at recognized shows.
I will have to take my little rescue mare into the ring & stand up against professional trainers.
But I am simply a professional photographer & model aka “influencer.”
My ability to use social media to create a personal brand has absolutely zero to do with my ability to ride or train my horse well.
My personal brand & social media following is the reason I am able to be self employed and work full time as an equine photographer.
Brands choose to work with me because I have a large audience that I have worked hard to obtain. They choose to work with me because I have professional camera equipment & can model their items.