Last year I wrote a blog post called “21 Signs You’re a Real Photographer Now .” Commenters said the post was elitist, “sexist crap,” “truly pointless,” “self-congratulatory nonsense,” and a “waste of time.”
That must mean it’s time for a sequel.
Here are 15 more clues that you have crossed the threshold from pretender to contender:
- You don’t say “Lensbaby” without a separating comma, as in “Show me you love my lens, baby.”
- You don’t mistakenly use a beauty dish for chips and salsa when your spouse has friends over.
- It’s no longer enough to make pilgrimages to all the natural wonders of the world; you now obsess over being there at sunrise, sunset, moon rise and eclipses.
- You’re indifferent when the airline tells you they’ve lost your baggage because all your photo gear is in your carry-on. You can always buy new clothes.
- You’ll rather use sandpaper in the bathroom than low-quality paper for your photos.
- You get irritated when your browsing history on Amazon gets contaminated by items other than photo gear after your spouse uses your computer.
- You produce HDR images without the use of software or tripod. Of course, your HDR (“Huge Dumbass Removal”) technique does require that you exit your vehicle on occasion to exclude bystanders who think they’re transparent.
- You’re not bothered by your competition’s high-end DSLR — especially when you see that their Speedlight/Speedlite is permanently bolted to their camera’s hotshoe.
- Your spouse insists that you either take her with you, or leave your credit card at home, when you go to the neighborhood camera store.
- More and more of your Facebook friends want to be tagged in your pictures, even the shy, private ones (and especially those too cheap to pay for profile pictures).
- You no longer obsess over websites hot-linking your images; you’re now more interested in the number of visitors being driven to your website — and the leads that result.
- Now that you also shoot video, you insist that every shot has to be done at your maximum aperture for that film-like look, even if it’s a group shot requiring more depth of field.
- You finally stop obsessing over file size when you realize you don’t even like your own work enough to make a 20″ x 30″ print.
- You grudgingly decide to show restraint in your post-production after you see the results your 5-year-old gets with your iPhone and the Hipstamatic  app.
- Your Twitter followers are increasing because they are stalking you for your great location finds — even though most of your tweets are about where you had lunch.