It sounds like a very easy job. Especially in the digital era, anyone can pick up his camera and call himself a photographer. A photographer is just someone who can take pictures, right? Yes, I never heard that anywhere in the world you need to obtain a photography license to become a photographer.
I fell in love with photography since 1990, and have taken actively part in many photography activities in Guangzhou and Shenzhen in China. From my experience, you need lots of practices to improve your photography skills. I still remember at the beginning, I was obsessed that why I could not make any progress in my photo quality. Professional photographers told me that there is no tip more useful than to keep practising. But at that time, keep practising means keep spending money on films or travels. Fortunately I was single then so I can afford to spend most of my earnings on photography. Actually, besides practising, thinking is the same important for a photographer.
Therefore, yes, as long as you have time and money, ultimately you can master most photography techniques with practice, so you have become a photographer. However, to make a living as a professional photographer is another story. It involves PR, marketing and other knowledge.
If you want to become a true photography artist, that is even harder. In my opinion, to become an artist asks for more artistic talents and particular personality. Moreover, it calls for a photographer’s careful observation and life experience, which contribute to the uniqueness of your artwork from the normal photos.
In summary, it is easy to take photos, but difficult to become a professional photographer. In addition, photography covers a large scope: architectural photography, food photography, fashion portrait photography, hotel photography, product photography etc. Different subject involves different shooting skills and technique. A professional photographer is usually only good at one or two subjects.