I consider myself an amateur photographer since I don't have a degree in Photography,
and have only taken one beginners photography course several years ago, while in High School. I think that having no formal photographic qualifications can be a drawback, but sites like Dreamstime have made it possible for amateur photographers to be featured alongside professionals. It I think that one of the main differences between amateur and professional photographers is the equipment, since professionals usually have newer and better cameras, along with lighting equipment that can be expensive for amateurs to invest in. It's interesting to see that even amateur photographers can take stunning photographs, simply by using their raw talent. This illustrates that photographic talent can't always be taught and that some people either have it, or they don't.
Photo credits: Dawn Lioutas.