Robert's Bank Shipyard, Delta BC
If you are an aspiring pro, think about what you need to do in order to photograph what you want for a living and get what you need to do so. If you want to be a self employed pro there are some things to help you along, such as small business loans, which can allow you do buy the gear that you need to take your photography to the next level. Just remember that gear alone cannot make you a better photographer!
The danger of a loan is that unless you can pay it back in an orderly fashion you might get yourself in financial trouble. Make sure you have a chance to make a profit from your equipment before you go out and buy that Nikon D3X or Canon 1Ds Mk.III! Do some research before you buy as well, because if all you need for your style of photography is a Nikon D300s or Canon 7D, D90 or 50D, even entry level cameras can offer great image quality so don't be afraid to get that level of camera either. I can assure you that the price tag of your camera does not make a huge difference in the photos you take, depending on your subject matter.
Keep in mind that skill can often make up for having expensive gear. I took some of my best photos with a $200 point and shoot camera, the overall image quality itself may not be as good as my Nikon DSLR gear, but a good photo is a good photo! So where am I going with this, keep it simple silly, focus on your photography skills more than gear! Your photos will improve as you spend time taking photos, not from buying a higher end camera. There are reasons to get higher end cameras, but unless you can find a specific reason to upgrade, don't!
Oh yes, keeping it simple, how did I get off onto camera gear again? There are times when I get obsessed with talking about gear, then I go out and take photos and forget all about it. It really is that simple, unless you find your gear frustrating you of course! Thankfully I am in a position where I like the camera equipment that I have, for the most part. Sure I would love to have a D3s, along with a 200-400mm F4G VR, and 600mm F4G AF-S VR lens for my bird and wildlife photography, but short of winning the lottery, that is not going to happen any time soon, as kit like that would cost around $20,000 here in Canada, before taxes! So before you go and buy expensive gear, think about what you are doing. Can you live with a D5000 or Rebel T1i, for most of us, I'd say yes!
Next week I'll post a gear recommendation list, for those of you are considering moving from a point and shoot camera to a DSLR or EVIL camera.