Top Ten Annoying Things That Photographers Say to Each Other

Posted on 13. Mar, 2009 by in Everything, Top Ten Lists

Last week’s list of the Top Ten Annoying Things to Say to a Wildlife Photographer was quite popular and it generated a lot of great comments. That has inspired me to produce another Top Ten list for this week. Today’s list compiles the top ten things that other photographers have said to me that I’ve found to be annoying. And, the more often I’ve heard something the more annoying it tends to be. That’s just the way I am.

If you’re a photographer who is easily offended or you can’t take a little bit of sarcasm, please don’t read any further. I don’t want your delicate sensibilities to be offended.

With that out of the way, presented in traditional count-down order, here are today’s Top Ten Annoying Things that Photographers Say to Each Other.

10. What are you shooting at? 

Red-necked Grebe sitting on a nest

Red-necked Grebe sitting on a nest

  • Get a group of photographers together shooting the same subject and invariably one of them will ask one or more of the others this question.  I believe it stems from a sense of insecurity where a less than confident photographer is worried that he’ll miss the shot that everyone else got.  Why not just ask me to send you my shots?
    • In a learning situation this could be a useful question although differences in equipment can make the answer moot.  But, in a group of peers, this question should never be uttered.

 

9. Did you see my shots in National Geographic? 

  • Is there any photographer who doesn’t want to be published in National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, Cosmo, etc?  Why risk a severe beating by flaunting your awesomeness?

 

8. Dude! Dude! You’re in my shot! 

  • And your feet are nailed to the ground?  Seriously?  Who calls someone “dude” in the first place?  Seriously!

 

7. I’m a Fine Art photographer. 

Fall morning at a beaver pond

Fall morning at a beaver pond

  • If someone can help me understand the difference between a “Fine Art” photographer and a portrait, wedding, landscape, photojournalist, sports or wildlife photographer, I might rescind this item, but the whole term strikes me as a bit pretentious.

 

6. The new K-tel Autocapture 5000 looks good but I noticed there’s noise in the shadows at ISO 102,400. 

  • Maybe the pixel peeping will never quit but do we have to examine each and every pixel of every new camera to find a flaw only evident at billboard sized prints? Besides photographers more obsessed with pixels than photos, who really cares?

 

5. …in these tough economic times… 

Ruddy Duck displaying on a lake

Ruddy Duck displaying on a lake

  • Okay, this one isn’t specific to photographers but I’m sick of hearing it.  I propose that the world set up a giant swear jar.  Every time someone utters the phrase “…in these tough economic times…” they have to put one US dollar into the jar.  Not only will this reduce the use of this annoying phrase but the funds could be used to solve the current economic crisis.

 

4. All of my work is available as limited edition Giclée prints. 

  • So your printer sprays droplets of ink at the paper? Wow!  That’s exactly what my inkjet printer does.
  • Giclée is French don’t ‘cha know.  It’s pronounced “zhee-clay” and it sounds pretentious.  IMHO.

 

3. Oh that?  I can fix that later in Photoshop. 

Black Bear cub trying to get to the bottom of things

Black Bear cub trying to get to the bottom of things

  • Not only is it annoying to hear, it is the calling card of a lazy photographer.

 

2. Oh, you’ve got the K-tel Autocapture 3000?  I just got the Autocapture 3000 Mark II. 

  • And that makes you a better photographer how?  Oh, that’s right; the Mark II finally introduces the “no sucky photos” setting whereby the camera will simply not allow the creation of a poor photograph.
  • There are some people I know that would think their Autocapture 3000 Mark II was broken when it never let them take a picture again!

 

1.  Dude!  Did you get this shot?

Pair of goslings swimming in a pond

Pair of goslings swimming in a pond

  • This is a common question from the serial chimper.  You know, the person you’re out shooting with who is continually chimping their images (looking at the LCD and then pointing and saying “ooh, ooh, ooh” when they see something they like).  They’ll call out when they find a photograph they think is great and you might have missed.  And, don’t call me dude!

I’m betting that if you’re a photographer who has spent any time photographing around other photographers that you’ve got a few of your own sayings to contribute. Go ahead. It’s very cathartic.

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85 Responses to “Top Ten Annoying Things That Photographers Say to Each Other”

  1. Maria

    13. Mar, 2009

    Another good list. And not offensive at all, at least not to me. I could see how these things might bother a serious photographer.

    A comment about the “fine art photographer” item — I think folks use that to distinguish themselves from “commercial” photographers. That’s the way I might use it when differentiating a photographer who shoots for sheer beauty or creativity vs. one hired to get a certain client-specified photo.

    At the risk of shoving my foot down my throat or showing my complete ignorance, I think there is a difference. Think of it as a sliding scale with “fine art” on one end and “sheer commercialism” on the other. Every serious photographer’s photos fall somewhere on the line, determined, in part, by their intent.

    I guess my point is that some people are more apt to apply the “fine art” label to what they do in an attempt to distance themselves from the guy earning an honest buck by photographing a wedding. That doesn’t mean their photos are any better or even any more artistic. It doesn’t even mean that they’re really just in it for the art. It just means they want you to THINK they are.

    I’m sure plenty of people could use that label as a crutch when they don’t succeed financially as a photographer. “Oh, it was never my intention to make money doing photography. I’m a fine art photographer. People just don’t understand my art.” Yeah. Right.

    Is it pretentious? Yeah, probably. Do they know it? Probably not.

    And I guess that’s YOUR point.

    Reply to this comment
  2. loongirl

    13. Mar, 2009

    Hilarious list, Paul – love it, and so far, I haven’t qualified for any of those really dumb but funny statements. (And I agree – calling someone ‘dude’ is just plain obnoxious.)

    Reply to this comment
  3. robin

    13. Mar, 2009

    #3 definitely!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Brent

    13. Mar, 2009

    Dude! That’s a great list…

    Reply to this comment
  5. Sean Phillips

    13. Mar, 2009

    I love it when people refer to their inkjet prints as Giclee’s.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Matt Needham

    13. Mar, 2009

    “Fine art” doesn’t mean high quality art. It means that the primary purpose or point of the work is to look pretty. While plenty of portrait, wedding, landscape, photojournalism, sport and wildlife photographs look pretty that may not be the photographer’s main purpose in creating the photograph. If anything the term “fine art” implies less importance. It’s merely art for art’s sake.

    Reply to this comment
    • Paul Burwell

      13. Mar, 2009

      So a “fine art” photographer just takes pictures to look pretty while a photographer like Artie Morris or Art Wolef take pictures to??????? Sorry, I just can’t wrap my mind around the separation between a “fine art” photographer and other professional photographers.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Linda Warfield

    14. Mar, 2009

    About fixing it in Photoshop, I get that reply from non-photographers when I re-take a shot. “Oh, you can fix that in Photoshop.” Maybe I could, but they don’t understand the art aspect of photography at all.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Hal Friedman

    15. Mar, 2009

    My nikkor “The Beast” and “Cream Master” are simply the best you can own !

    Reply to this comment
  9. Robert Walters

    15. Mar, 2009

    I define fine art photography as taking a picture the Photographer selects and then tries to sell to someone AFTER THE FACT.

    This is different from a photographer hiring on to take a picture someone else wants, even if the photographer might actually select the pose, etc. In other words, wedding, advertising, architectural, model work, etc. are different from “fine art” photography because of how the images are contracted for, marketed, and/or paid for. It has NOTHING to do with the quality of the work.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Germaine

    15. Mar, 2009

    Thanks for reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously.

    When I run into one of these “fine art” types, I try to smile my biggest smile and say something along the lines of “Gee Whiz! I just like to take pictures”. That usually gets rid of them.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Arthur Morris

    15. Mar, 2009

    While I am a lover of what is art it really bugs me when folks tell me that their bird photographs are different from mine because they are doing “fine art.”

    Man, you gotta love that!

    Reply to this comment
  12. Doug

    15. Mar, 2009

    Or when people automatically think a 3rd party lens can’t possibly be nearly as good as a camera manufactuere’s lens and put down the 3rd party lens to justify spending so much more for a Canon, Nikon, etc. lens.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Ray

    15. Mar, 2009

    You left out Bokeh. As in, “this new lens has wicked bokeh”.

    Kind of trumps Fine Art, but possibly only slightly.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Lin Barrett

    16. Mar, 2009

    Irving Penn shot more commercial still life than most (lots of it for Clinque cosmetics). He said, and I paraphrase…even it’s a piece of cake sitting on a plate, it still can be art. Exactly…any photograph that is finely composed with attention to elements of art and principles of design could be considered fine art…even if it’s selling something. A successful photograph is effective…plain and simple but not always so easy to achieve.

    And about all the techie talk among photographers…well I just lump it all into FM (f–kinig magic)

    Reply to this comment
  15. Aaron Soares

    16. Mar, 2009

    Ive heard a few of those phrases! LOL I have the autocapture 6000 have you seen it yet? 😛

    Reply to this comment
  16. Robert Miller

    16. Mar, 2009

    I really enjoyed your article, it is great. I loved best your reference to dude. I hate that word, I have never said it out loud and I cringe at the mere hearing of the word.

    I liked your list and here are some of my pet peeves.
    1. Did you use Photoshop? No, that is the raw image out of the camera.
    2. Your camera takes great photos what kind of camera do you use? If I put the camera on the ground what kind of pictures would it take.
    3. Did you take that picture? No, I copyright everyone’s pictures. Actually, KoKo the monkey took this one.
    4. I would like to sell your picture as wall paper can you send me a high resolution image? Sure, as soon as I take some pictures of flying pigs.
    5. What camera settings are using? I don’t know I just twist the dials.
    6. What is the best picture you have ever taken? The next one.
    7. Will you teach me how to use the camera, I have an hour next week? Sure, I can condense everything I learned in 40 years in an one hour lesson.
    8. Where do you take such spectacular pictures? Could you move over a second you just blotted out my picture with your face.
    9. What type of film do you use? Well, this camera is digital, so I buy it from Polaroid.
    10. Do you mind If I borrow your camera, I am going to my school reunion party? Sure, but I require a rental fee of 10,000 dollars.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Nico

    18. Mar, 2009

    I especially like #4, as “Giclée” in french slang means something totally different… not professional!
    Thanks for the list, I enjoyed it a lot!

    Reply to this comment
  18. Ben Willmore

    18. Mar, 2009

    I’m a Fine Art photographer.

    All that means is that I don’t do any commercial work and my work can’t quite be categorized as being landscape, nature or any other general type that would be easily/quickly understandable.

    I do lightpainted nudes… shoot abandoned stuff along route 66, create abstract shots, and shoot whever interests me… occasionally that might be a landscape, but I might shoot it as a 50 shot composite where it looks like a pile of photographs overlapping.

    What exactly should I saw when people ask what type of photographer I am? I’m open to other ideas.

    Reply to this comment
    • Ben Willmore

      18. Mar, 2009

      I forgot to add: I take photographs where their main purpose is to be hung on a wall and enjoyed as a piece of art (as apposed to one that would be used for a commercial purpose like a brochure) and you would find them for sale in art galleries. Doesn’t that hint at being a fine art photographer?

      Reply to this comment
    • Steve Crane

      22. Mar, 2009

      I think you should say you don’t believe in labels.

      Reply to this comment
  19. Scot Baston

    19. Mar, 2009

    I’ve got to agree with Robert’s comment “Did you use Photoshop?” not really sure why or how to explain this to the lay person that an image is not degraded in value because it has been processed

    Reply to this comment
  20. mike meyer

    19. Mar, 2009

    I love your comment about Giclee prints because I have always hated that term. Just because it’s a Giclee or a Cibachrome, or from a LightJet or Lambda, doesn’t mean it’s a good print. But I suppose whoever invented the term needed to charge more for their poor looking images. The funny thing is I’ve heard the term for at least ten years now and what ever printer it was invented for is now easily out performed by a $200 desktop printer. I’m thinking the Iris printer was the culprit, not sure.

    mike meyer

    Reply to this comment
  21. frank t

    19. Mar, 2009

    Dude…
    Man…
    Hey…
    Can you…

    the four most dreaded beginnings of sentences.

    How about a top 10 list of non-photographer least favorite questions? (mine: Is that your camera? No – i stole it)

    Reply to this comment
  22. Rich C

    19. Mar, 2009

    #5 is my current pet peeve! Several times per week clients ask me, “Don’t you think in these economic times we could work out a better price?”

    Given that I’m living in these economic times, I too worry about finances. So, I’ve got the perfect answer to this question.

    “Yes, we can work a better price for me. I’m thinking about doubling my quote to you…….” Works every time, and embarrasses the asker often!

    Great list!

    Reply to this comment
  23. theo

    19. Mar, 2009

    I am a fine art photographer, and what that means is that I take photographs in order to show, market and sell them as art. Just as commercial, stock and wedding photographers evoke an idea of their respective professions. How would you like me to refer to my line of work when talking to others?

    -theo

    Reply to this comment
  24. lewis w

    19. Mar, 2009

    Very funny. This gives me something to smile about this morning. But, I have to remind myself these questions are about as intentional as “how ya doing?” They really don’t care what your answer is. Just trying to be nice.

    Reply to this comment
  25. Sean Phillips

    19. Mar, 2009

    I’ve been thinking about the Fine-Art thing for a few days and I’m trying to wrap my head around why I think there is a difference (and I do think there is a difference). I think it’s mostly a distinction between journalistic photography, where the photographer is really trying to show the world exactly as it is, vs. artistic photography, where the main purpose is to make the image look as good as it possibly can OR to look like something the artist saw in her head. This is not necessarily a huge distinction, but the ethics of each can be very different.

    Using this definition, one could argue that in journalistic photography the image should not be altered or manipulated to show something different than what you or I would see if we walked into the scene(although we all know that simply changing the focal length can easily do that), while in artistic photography anything goes.

    I doubt that this will be enough to convince you that there is a difference, and that’s not really my intent, rather it’s just an attempt to explain how their might be a difference…

    Reply to this comment
  26. Cindy

    19. Mar, 2009

    I always chuckle when I read/hear ‘that camera takes great pictures!’ Thanks for the grins :)

    Reply to this comment
  27. Richard Cave

    19. Mar, 2009

    What makes a pro? …
    Found at flickr, originally from sportshooter. I spilt my tea reading this.

    It is a answer to the question, “what is a professional photographer?”

    On the lighter side…..These are excerpts from SportsShooter.com

    A professional photographer is the Chuck Norris of photography

    A professional photographer’s camera has similar settings to a non pro, except ours are: P[erfect] Av[Awesome Priority Tv[Totally Awesome Priority] M[ajestic]

    A professional photographer doesn’t color correct. The world adjusts to match us.

    Sure, a professional photographer deletes a bad photo or two. Other people call these Pulitzers.

    A professional photographer doesn’t adjust his DOF, he changes space-time.

    A professional photographer doesn’t wait for the light when he shoots a landscape – the light waits for him.

    A professional photographer never flips his camera in portrait position, he flips the earth

    A professional photographer orders an L-lens from Nikon, and gets one.

    When a professional photographer brackets a shot, the three versions of the photo win first place in three different categories

    Only a professional photographer can take pictures of a professional photographer; everyone else would just get their film overexposed by the light of our genius

    A professional photographer’s nudes were fully clothed at the time of exposure

    A professional photographer once designed a zoom lens. You know it as the Hubble Space Telescope.

    When a professional unpacks his CF card, it already has masterpieces on it.

    A professional photographer’s portraits are so lifelike, they have to pay taxes

    On a professional photographer’s desktop, the Trash Icon is really a link to National Geographic Magazine

    A professional photographer spells point-and-shoot “h-a-s-s-e-l-b-l-a-d”

    For every 10 shots that a professional photographer takes, 11 are keepers.

    A professional photographer’s digital files consist of 0’s, 1’s AND 2’s.

    A professional photographer never focuses, everything moves into his DoF

    A professional photographer’s shots are so perfect, Adobe redesigned Photoshop for us: all it consists of is a close button.

    A professional photographer never produces awful work, only work too advanced for the viewer

    Reply to this comment
  28. Wayne

    19. Mar, 2009

    Once upon a time a photographer was invited to have dinner at the home of a nice couple. During dinner the wife comments to the photographer “Your pictures are beautiful. You must have a great camera.” The photographer nods politely.

    After finishing dinner the photographer comments to the wife “That was a fine meal. You must have some great pots!

    Hilarious Top Ten … thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Reply to this comment
  29. John Wall

    19. Mar, 2009

    Q: What are you shooting?
    A: Pictures.

    Reply to this comment
  30. Scott Kelby

    19. Mar, 2009

    LOL!

    Reply to this comment
  31. Alan

    19. Mar, 2009

    I get the same reaction when I hear an artsy type refer to somethng they’ve done as a “body of work”. Gimme a break!

    Reply to this comment
  32. Carlos Molina

    19. Mar, 2009

    Hi, I’m new to the site but this thread caought my attention. I ahve asked myself the same question. My son and I have discussed this extensively, he is a photographer as well (I do Landscape and he does people). But we found this definition in “Wikkipedia” and was really the closest thing to what the term seems to attempt to say, so here it is:

    ” Fine art photography refers to photographs that are created to fulfill the creative vision of the artist. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism and commercial photography. Photojournalism provides visual support for stories, mainly in the print media. Commercial photography’s main focus is to sell a product or service”

    Reply to this comment
  33. Elizabeth Wold

    19. Mar, 2009

    I’ve always been curious about the term “Fine art photographer” as it does seem somewhat pretentious. At the University here they have both a BA of visual arts, and fine arts. Fine Arts is more classes… especially art history.

    For what it’s worth Wikipedia has an interesting take on Fine Art: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine_art “Fine art photography is created primarily as an expression of the artist’s vision”. This would seem to imply that anything the photographer has control over, and is shooting to fulfill vision vs pocketbook is fine art.

    I am (slowly and in my spare time) working towards a degree in Art, and the art world is a very different place from the photography world… they do overlap obviously, but it seems different being a Nature Photog vs an Art Photog… it’s been a bit of a challenge making the two work together in my brain. Shooting with the end goal of showing in a Fine Art Gallery is definitely different then trying to get published in NG or an Ad campaign for the newest car, etc.

    I think it’s a relevant term, but probably often mis-used and claimed by people who don’t understand it. That’s just my understanding of it, anyway.

    Overly simplified Example:

    Fine Art Photog:
    Takes ugly pictures of ugly people to fulfill vision

    Pro Portrait Photog:
    Takes best pictures possible of pretty and ugly people to make them look attractive and make client happy.

    Or something like that. 😉

    Reply to this comment
  34. Steph

    19. Mar, 2009

    The “Giclée” term is fun… It’s indeed french, but I NEVER heard it here (in France) to describe a printer. We say “Jet d’encre” or “inkjet”.

    Reply to this comment
  35. mike meyer

    19. Mar, 2009

    Well a quick Google found the term Giclee was coined by Jack Duganne who worked for Nash Editions in 1991 and in fact was using the IRIS inkjet printer.

    mike meyer

    Reply to this comment
  36. Stephen

    19. Mar, 2009

    Duuuuude. Oh well, I grew up as surfing bum on the beaches of Santa Cruz, CA. So I get to use the word “dude.” I actually think it’s more obnoxious when people get upset over the word “dude.”

    Anyway, good comments. I will admit to using some of these. However, it’s never been with a group of photographers that have not been close friends. I think I’ve only used in when I was out shooting with my closest friend. And then only when we were doing something that was totally new to the both of us.

    Anyway, good post.

    Reply to this comment
  37. Meagan

    19. Mar, 2009

    I’m 100% with you on #5. Not just in terms of photography, but EVERYWHERE.

    Reply to this comment
  38. David

    20. Mar, 2009

    It amuses me how many people got their feathers ruffled over the fine art photographer comment…..perhaps the reason it’s annoying?

    and to the Dude, did you get this shot? I love to respond…
    NO….I was shooting that UFO that just dipped beyond the horizon…Dude….Didn’t you see it?

    Reply to this comment
  39. Mark

    20. Mar, 2009

    Funny list Paul. But one more critical one to add..

    How about when photographers complain to other photographers about what non-photographers ask them? :-)

    Seriously though – we sometimes get a little too wrapped up in ourselves and forget that the gear we are carrying is often more than what many people make as an income for an entire year.

    Reply to this comment
  40. Julie

    20. Mar, 2009

    Love this post!!!
    #2 is especially bothers me, although #4 and #7 are close behind.

    Reply to this comment
  41. Joe Taibi

    20. Mar, 2009

    Some of these are only going to get worse. Anyone else notice the youngest generations have taken to calling females “dude” as well?

    Reply to this comment
  42. Ken Tam

    20. Mar, 2009

    Agree

    Reply to this comment
  43. Bob Towery

    21. Mar, 2009

    I once arrived in the dark at Mono Lake, with my 14 year old son in tow, both of us with our gear. As daylight cracked, we walked around the edge of the lake, looking for where he might shoot. He walks among some other photogs.

    This guy says to him “HEY! We three have this area staked out! This is OUR area!”

    I walked over to him and said calmly “You and your camera will be shooting from the middle of lake in 5 seconds if you ever talk to him like that again.”

    Reply to this comment
  44. Bill

    21. Mar, 2009

    After about 7 years of point & shoot cameras I joined the DSLR world about a month ago. I have already had several admirers say “wow your camera does a good a nice job”. You almost want to say go by the same camera and see how good of a job the camera does.

    In my first portrait review the clients were bragging on how good the shoot subject did. Yeah he was great at smiling and sitting still. I guess It comes with the territory.

    Also I noticed there no comments about the photog “purists” who look down on photographers who use photoshop. That’s like saying I would never upgrade the memory in my pc. “You get what you get”.

    Reply to this comment
  45. Marilyn

    21. Mar, 2009

    Yes, I find some photographers very annoying. Especially the Technophiles. After you shoot for a while, you do the settings automatically, and don’t need to discuss or be tested on it. I find those types can’t compose.

    As for what is the difference between a Fine Art Photographer and the others, Let me explain and even better yet, show you.

    I have two separate websites, one for Fine Art Photography: http://www.MDavenportPhoto.com and one that is more commercial : MDphoto.bebo.com . I am shooting more fine art right now.

    My Fine Art Photography is archived in several permanent museum collections. I’ve won thousands in art competitions. People buy my collections.

    People who buy the fine art photography, want archival inks and papers including giclee in limited editions.

    I happen to record a lot of history that tells a story within the scope of fine art photography which some would say is photo journalistic but I do it artistically. People like images that have a story behind them.

    Anyway, I think your point may be that the title Fine Art Photography is thrown around so much that it needs to be more well defined. To me when someone says that, and I look at their images and they are not Fine Art Photography, I just think they’re ignorant.

    Reply to this comment
  46. Beth

    22. Mar, 2009

    As I am just beginning my venture into photography, I’ll take use the list as guidelines of what not to do!

    Reply to this comment
  47. Deborah aka Loxly

    23. Mar, 2009

    “I only crop in camera, I never post process, I never use the rapid sequence feature, I always get the perfect image every time the first time”…. I say if you really are a great photographer you know how to use your technology to get the best shot, including rapid firing and *some* post processing. And yeah, the latest and greatest camera doesn’t make you a great photographer :)

    Nice list.

    Reply to this comment
  48. Chris Monroe

    23. Mar, 2009

    …But I will be published in a Special Edition of The National Geographic coming out in June! Honest…Look for the piglets.
    It’s The Holy Grail Man!!!
    CM

    Reply to this comment
  49. Sam

    24. Mar, 2009

    As someone who refers to their own photography as “fine art” let me offer a response to #7. Food for thought, as it were.

    If someone is defining fine art as a type of photography akin to wedding, landscape, nature, etc., then they are sorely mistaken. As for my take on “fine art,” it’s more HOW I shoot, than what I shoot. It’s a style of shooting, much like journalistic shooting.

    Journalistic focuses largely on people, expressions, moments, trying to put you in the scene, where fine art looks more at the abstract, lines, shapes, textures, color, and lighting in an effort to create a form of beauty not always tethered to a sense of reality. Minimalism, surrealism, or one of the other commonly used artistic techniques are applied to give a photograph the same level of attention and detail as painting (although obviously the execution is somewhat shorter). Photography as a whole has a tendency to lean towards journalistic photography due to its very nature, but with my background in graphic arts and other forms of traditional art, I tend to take a slightly different approach at times. While most photographers will try to give an accurate representation of a scene, I’ll degrade, push, pull, and stretch the color, exposure, angle, etc. of an image until I pull out what I saw in the image with my mind’s eye.

    Is the term a bit pretentious? Sure. I won’t disagree with you there. I just think there are some misinformed and diluted people out there throwing the term around without taking a moment to think. You could have a fine art style wedding photographer or a journalistic one. Both have their merits and neither is better than the other. My job requires my photography to be more journalistic, so I’m actually working hard NOT to be just a fine art photographer. One could argue that the best photographers out there (the ones you see regularly in National Geographic) usually get a good blend of the two.

    Reply to this comment
  50. Jeremy

    27. Mar, 2009

    Fine art. It just sounds better than art.

    Reply to this comment
  51. Jennifer

    29. Mar, 2009

    Love it! Very funny.

    Reply to this comment
  52. Frank

    30. Mar, 2009

    ” What a fantastic shot!, check out my flickr, i have the exact same shot ”

    ” What lens did you use to capture that shot? ”

    ” What’s your setting? ”

    ” You shoot raw or jpg? ”

    ” IS on or off ? ”

    ” Is my lens sharp? ”

    While strolling down the street with your dSLR, someone came up to you and said ” Hey, nice camera, my brother has an “L” lens “.

    LOL!

    Reply to this comment
  53. Suzy Walker

    06. Apr, 2009

    lol. two v funny lists. Thank you for compiling them. 8 & 4 made me laugh out loud at my desk and everyone looked at me! One of the best things about underwater photography is you dont get all of this while you are actually shooting – the silly comments have to wait until everyone is back on the boat 😉

    Reply to this comment
  54. sandy cathcart

    07. Apr, 2009

    I LOVE your photos, and your comments made me laugh. It was actually one of the few times I could actually use the acronym that makes me wanna scream most of the time…LOL.

    You touched on a few things that I need to change in my own vocabulary…oops!

    Dude. ha! that’s one I think you and I will both have to learn to deal with while working with the public. It’s a generation thing. Best to just start calling them dude back. Pretty soon, they quit using it and shut up and look at ya funny.

    Reply to this comment
  55. ross millar

    07. Apr, 2009

    Calling oneself a fine art photographer is no more pretentious than calling oneself a photographer just because one owns a camera.

    I find the post disturbing, either you are saying photography is not an art whatsoever – which is an argument that was settled decades ago, or you are stating that all photographs are art – a snap shot of little joey playing ball is hardly art, nor a photograph of a wedding.

    There are many definitions of art. I define art in the intent: the intent of the artist to invoke an emotional and or intellectual response to the artwork. A fine art photograph will stir an emotion or thought significantly more substantial than “ooo, that’s a pretty picture.”

    The barriers to entry are so low right now, I would argue that we are living in an unprecedented time of pretension.

    Reply to this comment
    • Paul Burwell

      07. Apr, 2009

      I think the difference for me is that by definition, a person who takes a picture is a photographer where there is no agreed-upon definition of a fine-art photographer.

      Reply to this comment
  56. Werner Maurer

    08. Apr, 2009

    I like to go to locations that other photogs don’t go to, so I never have this prob. I try to keep an eye out for the seldom-noticed. Now, if I could just shoot pix as good as theirs….

    Reply to this comment
  57. Kimberley

    09. Apr, 2009

    I find it annoying when other photographers comment on my use of burst mode. I use it a tool, not just on action shots, but on still scenes when I have no tripod or resting surface handy for my camera. The implication is I don’t have enough skill to just take one precisely-timed photo and get the image I was trying for.

    The reality is, my goal is to get the image I’m trying for, and I will use whatever tools or techniques available to get it. For instance, if my use of burst mode on a macro assures me shots 2, 3 and 4 will be crisper than the first shot, then so be it.

    I don’t go into a restaurant and nitpick with the chef about how to prepare my meal. I give him creative license as long as the food ends up satisfying my palate.

    Reply to this comment
  58. Keith

    16. Apr, 2009

    wear a ipod w/ your fav music playing and a t-shirt that says “shut up and shoot”

    Reply to this comment
  59. ian

    17. Apr, 2009

    Funny list, #1 and #8 are very true, PLUS what Deborah aka Loxly said.

    And next time I’ll do what Keith said :-)

    Reply to this comment
  60. Jim Esten

    28. Apr, 2009

    #4 – ‘giclee’: I don’t wish to offend, but the best way to take the wind out of those sails is to tell the person what the French slang meaning is: sexual ejaculation. Jack Duganne should have used a better French dictionary.

    ‘Dude’. Notice to Stephen and other younger photographers: don’t address older people that way, and we promise not to say “Well, when I was your age…” Come to think of it, that would be another great Top 10 list: obnoxious inter-generational statements.

    Reply to this comment
  61. George Slusher

    28. Apr, 2009

    People calling themselves, “fine art photographers” have wrankled me, as well, though not because I don’t recognize that there are such things as “fine art photographs.” The problem isn’t with the photos but the person making the statement. It comes across as pretentious. (“I’m better than those unimaginative photojournalists and wedding photographers, not to mention the whorish commercial photographers.”) Of course, pretentiousness seems to be rampant in the world of “art.” (I don’t “do” art, myself, but I’ve bought a lot of it.)

    Anyone can call himself/herself a “fine art photographer,” so the term is essentially meaningless. Did Ansel Adams call himself a “fine art photographer”? Did Picasso call himself a “fine art painter”? if you’re really good, you don’t need to call yourself much of anything: your work will speak for you.

    On the other hand, labeling a business as “fine art photography” is different, as that focuses on the photographs, not the phtographer. It differentiates that business from wedding photography, nature photography, photojournalism, travel photography, portrait photography, fashion photography, etc. I’d much rather see a business card that said, “Jane Adams, Fine Art Photography,” rather than “Jane Adams, Fine Art Photographer.” The first says what Jane produces and sells, which is the point of a business.

    Reply to this comment
  62. araya

    08. Jul, 2009

    great article. thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  63. A. Cast

    06. Aug, 2009

    While discussing about the difficulties to expose for high contrast light at noon, some really pretentious commertial photographer told me once:

    “I don’t know about your amateur camera, but the digital back of my professional Bronica medium format camera can register 12 stops of light”

    Reply to this comment
  64. Mei Teng

    29. Dec, 2009

    Great list! I have to agree that #1 is utterly annoying.

    Reply to this comment
  65. a giclee printer

    27. Jan, 2010

    #4 makes me laugh as that’s what I do!

    Would pigment ink on archival paper be any better?

    lol

    Reply to this comment
  66. Ant Gray

    17. Jul, 2010

    Most popular in Russia (sort of mem): horizon tilted

    Reply to this comment
  67. georgmi

    15. Aug, 2011

    I ask question #10 fairly frequently; I’m always trying to develop my eye, and there are still lots of situations where I can feel that a shot exists in what I’m looking at, but I can’t see the path to isolating it out of the mess in front of me.

    With #8, if I’ve just spent five minutes on my tripod composing my shot and you walk into it, yeah, I think the moral high ground rests with me. In that case, yes, my feet *are* pretty well nailed to the ground.

    Of course, my social anxiety prevents me from talking to people I don’t know, so I’m only going to ask #10 of somebody I’m already acquainted with, and I’m going to wait a *long* time before #8 passes my lips to a stranger. :)

    Reply to this comment
  68. Hugo Chikamori

    15. Sep, 2011

    “So…you shooting with a D300s?”

    Yeah…so what? So I don’t have the $$$ to kick around and buy myself a D3s/D3X or whatever latest new-fangled camera they got out now. I make do with what I have and I get the shot. Maybe once I’ve sold a few prints, I’ll upgrade, but until then…”mind your own beeswax…and go shoot something!”

    Yes…we photographers when you interrupt us on a shot…get very antisocial too.

    Reply to this comment

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