Don't mention your interest in photography

Everyone I meet believes they are an expert photographer. It seems that the ownership of a camera and the expertise to use it appropriately can both be purchased from the store at the same time. Sadly, I didn't get the joint package. I had to study, practice, spend time reviewing, reading, trying, experimenting and learning before I became even half passable. All of this work has shown me that I am nowhere near 'best in class' and that I still have an awful lot more work to do.

So why does photography seem to give people the impression that it is an easy hobby (or even business) to become an expert in? You wouldn't pick up a medical book and then claim to be a world authority on surgery or pick up a chisel and claim to be capable of carving award winning sculptures? Maybe it is the accesibility of photography and the ease with which some of the gifted people here on DT can take great shots that convince others that photography expertise comes easily?

Whatever the reason, I have learnt not to mention my interest in photography because it seems everyone in the world knows more than I do.......

Photo credits: Mark Eaton.

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You can take a photo, and trash it anytime if you feel like it. But to be a doctor, you cannot afford to trash a patient when your treatment skill failed. Its two very differnt profession to compare. The real professional photographers who make a living out of it does feel pressure too. They have to carry all their heavy equipment and backup cams just to ensure they capture the shots to deliver to their clients. Imagine if your cam just breakdown and you have no equipment to carry on with the photo taking anymore.


Well said ! I don't think you ever stop learning though. Like the photo of Donnington castle...


nice article


Next time just ask them: how many did YOU sell?


What abt a required course leaning to at least a "accredited" certificate. Only when you get the cerificate you can officialy be called a photogropher.

And if you go around calling youself a photographer without having the certificate then you can be charged and go to jail.

Kinda like you cant call yourself a Dr. and if you do u can get charged with impersonating a Dr..


Mark, i have some photos of my holidays that i could give you.

Eh eheheh, just kidding.

I agree with you. I now talk about my hobby to fewer people. I usually get the feeling that they think that i am kind of stupid to be wasting my time in such a way...

So i keep it to my self.

Good luck. :)


Photography at its simplest is just about pressing the button and you have a decent photograph, putting your camera and you in the right place to take that photograph is the tough part and thats how you end up with a great photograph ;)

All the other stuff is just frosting :)


You are correct. The more I learn about photography, the more I realize just how much I don't know!


I guess we all get the same feeling from time to time... Good point.


Huh, it's not my case, I am very good because my camera comes with a USB 7.0 link and a special interface to my brain and in the first day I become an expert photographer.


You're right about it,absolutely right. With the come of digital photography lots more people could start taking pictures of their own moments,someone even wanting to give a try and make it a second job or business without the right basis to do it.
Everything,if you want to make it well,takes time and energies;photography can look easy or easier than other works,but without time to dedicate to it,it'll be always and just an hobby.


Great Blog.
I got Married 13 years ago.....but still have much to learn about being a husband and i am sure no expert in marriage.
I have 2 children, 11 and 4 and I am not even close to being a perfect father.

I have been into Digital Photography for only about 5 years......I have barely scratched the surface of what I need to learn to be a pro or "Expert".

Having the correct tools to do the job does not make you do the job correctly!

You are correct Mark!


I agree too, Mark. A friend of mine told me straight in my face - and honestly he takes the most boring pics man can take - "there is nothing special about photography these days any more - it's all the camera, you just need to press the button - that's it. Everyone can take perfect pictures." When I asked him, what he thinks about a painter then, because everyone can take a brush in his hands - he answered that's something totally different - he needs talent. Ups - seems we photographers don't :)


Very true!!!


I agree with you Mark!!! very good point.


It's better to know your limitations and work on them than to believe you have no limitations and remain only as good as you are today.


Oh my god!!This blog is amazing.I stink at photography and even if i advance in my techniques i still have the feeling that i stink at this job.At least i like it and im proud of what i create.Zenpix have a good point


Very good point!


Should be a disclaimer on the camera box....
"buying this camera will NOT make you a proffesional photographer, no matter what you say or how you feel".
Probably wouldent help, theyd just ignore it like the smokers ignore "cigaretts cause cancer".
Oh well


Good points sunguy.


I agree


Yep...what I have found in our small little town of Mossel Bay is that all of a sudden there is a hatching of photographers like you have never seen. A population of about 120 000 people (of which a very large portion is retired) and man you have 30 photographers plus for the area. You can drive from one side to the other side of the municipal area to the other in about 30 minutes. Of these some are charging a fee of $1.50 up to $15.00 per image and occasionally more. I shut my mouth and do my thing.
they range from point and shoot to mega big lens thingies to take a photo of the wagtail in the garden :-0


I felt I had to make one more comment.
All the technical knowledge in the world will not produce a good image, one that is meaningful and "speaks" to the viewer. Give the cheapest point and shoot to someone who has developed the "eye for seeing" and they will shoot rings around anyone with the latest high end camera who can't recognize a good composition if it hit them over the head.
I have seen great images done by people who don't really understand the technical jargen. A good image is a good image no matter how it got there or who took it. I come from the film and darkroom era and when digital first came out, I used to feel the people who used them weren't real photographers....


Most of you have heard this before....
A photographer went to a dinner party, where he showed some of his images. The host said "My, you must own a really fine camera!"
As the photographer was leaving the diner party, he turned to his host and said, "That was a delicious dinner, you must own some really fine pots and pans".
Don't be bugged by this, in the end it doesn't matter. As I do gallery exhibits and print sales, hanging my works next to various painting mediums, I have to deal with those who don't think photography can be an art form....


I'm glad it's not just me that feels this way so thanks for that all. I had a discussion with someone who described themselves as 'not a professional but getting close' who was still using Automatic mode with a kit lens on an entry level camera and with no understanding of the impact of shutter speed, ISO or aperture. They actually asked me to explain aperture to them!


Completely agree with you. It's a people's nature. As soon as it is needed only push some button one starts feeling to be an expert. Mass media suport this very stupid idea by advertisement. Actually, ANY work is an art which has to be learnt to achieve something and should be paid by lots of sweat..

Thanks or your blog.


I agree that most just don't get it, but I love to hear about other people who like taking pictures, even if they're taking crappy snappy's. When I started I thought I was an amazing photographer with my Kodak z740, and now I'm so critical of my shots even weilding a 5d ii.


It is the same for me too, and I got tired to try to explain that there is much more than just pressing a button....


I have the same experience. When I mention earning money with stock the always say "Oh I have some beautifull images from my Holliday that I can give you!" And then I try to tell them on a nice way that I don't need snapshots. So I also stopped talking about it.


Good points. Or they start telling you about so and so their cousin who is such a great photographer.

I was with my parents last week at their retirement village and a neighbor asked "Is this the son who is the artist?". Oh no that is the other one my mom says! Even though I'm the one who has actually sold something I created.

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