Many amateur photographers would give their right arm to be able to turn professional, and I can certainly understand that. I’m well past the age now where making a living from anything is a distant memory, though. I never harboured any such aspirations, anyway; I’ve always been strictly an amateur photographer, and for good reason.
For a start, I don’t kid myself that my work has ever been consistently of a good enough standard to satisfy demanding clients or agencies. Nor did I know nearly enough about the art (and certainly not the science) behind photography to commit my livelihood to it. My photography is instinctive. Sometimes it works better than others, but not often enough, or consistently enough (in my opinion) to have been considered of a professional standard. Professionals in any discipline have to know EXACTLY what they’re doing. I can’t claim that I’m afraid, although I’m always trying to learn and improve.
The other reason for preferring to remain an amateur was complete independence. He who pays the piper calls the tune. As an amateur, I could choose exactly what I photographed, when I photographed it, and how long I spent doing it. Professionals (unless you’re extremely lucky) are always at someone else’s beck and call. You photograph what they want you to shoot, and to an extent, how to shoot it. That would just drive me crazy.
So, I remained a happy snapper and be content to be so.