Again — perhaps from a technical perspective, amateurs more and more can make images that “look like” professionals. I am coming at this conversation from a photojournalism angle and I feel like only experience, training and in-depth and long-term work in the field will enable someone to make images that truly access stories in an empathic and profound way. There is no ‘getting lucky’ with a click of the shutter. Images that resonate are intentional and a professional photographer is someone who can make those images regularly and with presence of mind.
I am comfortable with the distinction between a professional and an amateur shifting from product and more to intent.