If you are a Photographer, then mean it. Earn income. . . do it to sell prints . .. do weddings . . . portraits, commercial, etc . . . .
I guess anynone that takes photos religiously can be considered a photographer, but that is not what is meant when we speak of "Photograher." Stop wattering down terms/language people
If you are a physician, and you are retired, you are still a physician. . . you have been one since graduation, whether you practice or not. If someone goes to school to LEARN photography, upon graduation, you are not a photographer by trade unless it is your profession. . . . what you do as a career. MANY people are self taught at home by practice and hands on witha camera. A physician has no such "career" they ARE a physician as soon as they graduate. They don;t even need a hospital setting to be one, or need to have a scalpal in thier hands . . but to be considered a Photographer, you must be in the profession, or you are a hobbyist/enthusiast, etc.
Why so bitter? And I'd agree if this was really a case of watering down language, which it is not and I otherwise would have an issue with. The primary definition derives directly from the original words "light" and "to write" or draw. So a photographer is someone who paints with light if you will. Merriam Webster in fact adds a secondary meaning as someone who earns a living by doing so. So both interpretations are valid from a language standpoint - at least in English and when considering the Greek origin. Fair enough?
And then there is the question of a)not selling anything b)giving stuff away for free c)selling the occasional print or d)trying to actually make a living off being a photographer
In my life as a photographer I am at B currently pursuing C. I'm not interested in D. The money doesn't seem good enough and the lifestyle wouldn't suit my role as a husband and father I believe. Maybe wouldn't be good enough to even make the meager living that the average "professional photographer" these days seems to make. But that's not the point.
It's the attitude of telling people how they have to label whatever they do just because they make an economic decision that their money is earned elsewhere in a better way and how to judge what they do with the rest of their time. Know what? I'm a pretty good guitar player and at some point in my life actually would have been considered "semi-pro" or whatever, because I was actually earning a living (in addition to my "day job"). I was considering going all pro - but I also saw what happens to the vast majority of people who do it. That wasn't for me because I care enough for music and art and anything I do outside my "professional life" to not end up teaching 15 year old guys how to play Metallica riffs and playing in a wedding band at night.
It's the underlying assumption that you need a) a formal education and b) something be you official "profession" to be any good at anything is just bogus. And very un-American I shall say. And I say that as an immigrant to this country - partly because that has been exactly my experience so far over the last few decades. Most people will not try to tell you what to do and how or that trying to get really good at something new is somehow equated to being a failure at something else. I can homeschool my kids and they may still go to Harvard. Or not. Anything goes within reason and based on merit. Do I make any sense here? Sorry to keep going on but this kind of stuff is close to my heart in a way. I wouldn't want the OP (or anyone) feel discouraged just because of somebody's word smithing or prejudice.