So if observing or learning about astronomy doesn't make a person an astronomer then what does? Again, an astronomer is a scientist - so they need to produce some results. It could be making a new discovery or publishing a paper, but it doesn't have to be that advanced. I think simply keeping an observing log or making sketches of what you see is sufficient to be called an astronomer. Certainly astrophotography would be sufficient. Even posting on this forum could be sufficient.
This is worth reading:
"Astronomers usually fall under either of two main types: observational and theoretical. Observational astronomers make direct observations of celestial objects and analyze the data."
For most of my adult life I have been involved with what I call "Big Science." That means well funded research groups with a specific research goal, turning out papers as a way to justify their existence. I am a coauthor on more papers than I can count including one that was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society where Newton published.
For me, Astronomy is "little science." Something I do for my own edification, for my own enjoyment.
In my mind, an astronomer is someone who studies the celestial sphere and tries to gain an understanding on some level. It is not necessary to publish or share that understanding, it need not be original or new. As amateurs, there is no requirement to publish.
Science is driven by curiosity, the need to know. If curiosity is one of the driving forces in what someone is doing, and it is my experience all good scientists are intensely curious, then the net result will be a greater understanding. I will also say that in my experience, part of that curiosity is the awareness of universe. One cannot look at a distant galaxy or even a photo of a distant galaxy and not be in awe that it exists.
But who is an astronomer and who isn't, it's just semantics, a matter of definitions and in the big picture meaningless.
We are who we are, we do what we do regardless of what we are called.
In 1938 near the end of the depression my father was a commercial fisherman, fishing for Albacore off the coast of Oregon and Washington. One day, as he was unloading his catch, someone watching made a snide remark about the "dumb fisherman." My father took the man aside, dissected an Albacore, pointing out the organs and their purpose and also noting in passing that when first caught, their body temperature was above the water temperature. This was not in the literature.
At the time, my dad was a "commercial fisherman."
40 years later, he was a professor of oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and had published published papers in Nature, Science, Scientific American (back when these were respected journals) as well as many other journals. He had been elected to the National Academy of Engineering as well as the National Academy of Sciences among others. He worked in a variety of fields of oceanography and was a highly respected "scientist."
But he was no different in his approach to the world when he was a "commercial fisherman" than when he was a "scientist." He was always doing science.