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21 Signs You’re a Real Photographer Now

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In a day and age when anyone with an iPhone or a Flickr account can call themselves a photographer, it can be a little difficult to figure out when you’ve separated yourself from the pack to become a real photographer. After all, beauty — in photographs as in all things — is in the eye of the beholder.

But here are 21 clues that you’ve crossed the threshold from pretender to contender:

1. Your friends have begun to hand you their cameras at social gatherings when they want a good picture taken.

2. You don’t run out of battery power because you are chimping less.

3. Your kids have stopped fussing about being photographed because you work faster.

4. The salesman at your favorite camera store lets you handle the merchandise usually kept locked in the shiny glass display cases.

5. You understand the difference between bokeh and a flower arrangement.

6. A gorgeous woman with a digital SLR brushes by you — and you only notice her camera and what kind of lens she has.

7. You concentrate on the lighting instead of the undergarment when you photograph backlit subjects.

8. You snicker at the folks in the back row at the concert shooting with an iPhone or a point-and-shoot.

9. Photo lab workers ask you to complete paperwork to verify that you own the copyright to the pictures you bring in.

10. Your in-law who’s a pro shares fewer and fewer tips with you.

11. Other photographers follow you to see where you’re shooting from.

12. Other photographers ask your opinion about gear when they see you at camera stores.

13. You realize how inaccurately Hollywood portrays the photographer’s job in the movies.

14. More and more engaged women want to be your friend.

15. You stop asking what aperture and shutter speed was used to take a picture.

16. Fewer people make fun of your torn, tattered but ubiquitous photo vest.

17. The subjects in your group pictures no longer resemble the hapless victims of a firing squad (everyone against the wall).

18. You are unashamed to carry a point-and-shoot — even at events crawling with other photographers.

19. Before you allow yourself to be impressed by that long telephoto, you want to know its widest aperture and whether it has image stabilization.

20. Your spouse stops asking what FedEx or UPS delivered.

21. You realize overexposure has to do with how you meter instead of how many Twitter followers you have.

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126 Comments (Open | Close)

126 Comments To "21 Signs You’re a Real Photographer Now"

#1 Comment By Tony Blei On October 1, 2009 @ 12:21 am

16a. You ditch the photo vest because you think it's better to blend in than to look like a photographer.

#2 Comment By Susan See On October 1, 2009 @ 2:32 am

*roflmao* Ohhhh Thank you for a wonderful middle-of-the-night belly laugh!! So what if everyone has been handing you their camera since you were in high school, which was 20+ yrs ago? :)

#3 Comment By AEparker On October 1, 2009 @ 2:49 am

Thanks! I guess I must be a real photographer now...:-)

#4 Comment By Daniel On October 1, 2009 @ 5:48 am

Agree on most of them ... except number 19
I do not really care about huge lenses, but it's just my personal humble opinion.

But ... definitely ... number 6 ... it's sadly true!!!


#5 Comment By aafke On October 1, 2009 @ 6:12 am

good stuff, sounds quite true!

#6 Comment By Jules On October 1, 2009 @ 8:32 am

And, apparently #22: You are a man. There ARE real women photographers too you know...

#7 Comment By Gilles On October 1, 2009 @ 9:10 am

Oh non! I'm not a real photographer for many reasons xD

#8 Comment By Milind Kothare On October 1, 2009 @ 10:33 am

A hilarious yet true list. Thanks for sharing.

#9 Comment By clarki On October 1, 2009 @ 11:27 am

These should be the 21 golden rules on how to become a pro. Fantastic.....

#10 Comment By benlondon On October 1, 2009 @ 12:53 pm

well that was a load of self congratulatory nonsense

#11 Comment By christopher On October 1, 2009 @ 1:27 pm

Cute list but I think if you're sitting around thinking "Am I a real photographer?" than you've got a long way to go before actually becoming a real photographer.

#12 Comment By Karen On October 1, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

This is too funny,loved it.

#13 Comment By Daros On October 1, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

Haha, great list. Humorous!

#14 Comment By Johnson Ang On October 1, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

#23 :
Your children do not call your lenses "embarrassing" anymore.

#15 Comment By Jason Collin Photography On October 1, 2009 @ 10:08 pm

My favorite one is #19, not being impressed by a long telephoto until I know it's an f/2.8 (for under 500mm). I first had this feeling back in the spring. I don't want to mention which lens it was so as to not incite riots. Unless someone asks.

#16 Comment By aafke On October 2, 2009 @ 12:45 am

as i said, i like this list, but i don't mind NOT being a real photographer

#17 Comment By Paul Conrad On October 2, 2009 @ 11:45 pm

As pertaining to 16: I still have my Domke photo vest. It's nearly 20 years old and almost like new. I used it twice in college to shoot basketball then ditched it after that. I'd prefer to blend in.

#18 Comment By W. Lotus On October 3, 2009 @ 9:37 am

I am still working on being a "real photographer". :-) However, I am going to pass this on to my friends.

#19 Comment By Wesley Putt On October 3, 2009 @ 12:11 pm

This list is cute but I think it resembles the traits of a wanna-be more than a pro. For one, I'm not impressed by any lens until I see what the photographer can do with it. I could care less if it's a VR or IS or whatever else.

The guy at my "favorite" camera store actually hates me because I never buy any gear. I just go there when I'm in a huge jam and I need an off-shoe cord for my flash, only to return it 4 hours later.

I find it extremely annoying when I'm asked to fill out copyright releases, which is why I don't get my photos printed at Wal-Mart anymore.

Photo vests look stupid... on anyone... unless you are fishing for trout.

I still check out gorgeous women.

#20 Comment By lizzieb On October 3, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

Too funny! I failed #5. Even though it's an important part of my photography, I didn't know what "Bokeh" was until I looked it up. Love the firing squad victims!

#21 Comment By Indrid On October 4, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

A truly pointless item

#22 Comment By Jeff On October 4, 2009 @ 10:23 pm

Looks like several people need to get a sense of humor (benlondon, christopher, Wesley Putt and Indrid)!! You people are just plain ignorant! it was a joke for crying out loud! Damn try getting over yourselves!

#23 Comment By DeeAnn On October 5, 2009 @ 3:59 pm

Numbers 8 & 13 my favorites.
Hollywood rarely portrays Photogs as community service journalists spreading news and decimate information, especially in disasters. The usual Hollywood is the voracious paparazzi crowd shooting wide shots with f4.5 telephoto lens....

#24 Comment By Denver Engagement Photographer On October 5, 2009 @ 4:12 pm

6 happened to me just last week when i was on vacation. I noticed both the beautiful girl, and the d300 she was chimping.

#25 Comment By Rohn Engh On October 5, 2009 @ 5:23 pm

24. If you are a freelance stock photographer, when you come back from a shoot, you don't scratch your head and ask, "Now where can I sell these pictures?" Instead, you check with your target market photobuyers before you go out and find out their photo needs. This approach makes your accountant smile."
Rohn Engh - PhotoSource International

#26 Comment By Dan Holmes On October 7, 2009 @ 11:46 am

Loved it! Great way to start the day. Thanks for a great sense of humor! Will forward to my PPC colleagues who will also appreciate it.

#27 Comment By Kevin Haislip On October 7, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

27.) When you realize the biggest part of your job has nothing to do with a camera, but rather a phone, a portfolio, an undying willingness to persevere and a healthy attitude toward rejection (and I've been shooting for 29 years).

#28 Comment By Eve On October 7, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

Huh? How is this list funny? Have I just lost any sense of humor? Who buys a photographer's vest? Or purchase gear in a photo store? Those to me are the very wealthy fanatics who do photography because they have too much money or time on their hands. "Real" photographers are also not gonna be so fixated on what equipment people have, but what jobs are available. This list should be called "21 signs you're a real amateur who desperately wants to be seen as a pro."

#29 Comment By Barbara P. Turner On October 7, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

As I was actually raised at "the knee" of my father in his darkroom and I knew how to develop, crop and shade before I knew how to cook, I can tell you from tons of experiences that I knew I was one of the best photographers in the room when I had joined the Bon Air Artists Association here in Richmond, VA and one of them had the gall to say to me when I asked was my art ie: oil pastels, watercolors and sketches going to be accepted? she replied "oh, no! we just want to paint from your photographs!" Well! MY response to her was: "Sure! no problem, as long as each one of you pays me a $500.00 licensing fee and I get a royalty contract from each painting used from my work!" She looked at me like she could have crawled UNDER the center of the earth!
cc: file

#30 Comment By Barbara P. Turner On October 7, 2009 @ 11:28 pm

Oh, and BTW I'm a ripe old 54! My father was Warren Eugene Plunkett, Wedding Photographer of Atlanta, GA back in the late 50's,& 60's. He also shot events for some of the local schools and colleges.

#31 Comment By Rob Valine On October 8, 2009 @ 12:33 am

I heartily agree with Kevin Haislip about his suggestion for #27.

#32 Comment By nlfigueiredo On October 8, 2009 @ 7:47 am

Amazing, it's rare find so comprehensive list for a profile characterization. My self I found on each one a surprising reality...I'm now a photographer;)

#33 Comment By Mike Conner On October 9, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

Kinda along the line of #15, you are frustrated while looking at a beautiful picture, because they don't tell you the ISO,f-stop and Aperture!

#34 Comment By Peter Phun On October 10, 2009 @ 10:06 am

Since this list went up, I've been checking periodically on the comments.

I compiled this list mostly because I was bored with writing yet another advice post.

Thanks for your comments. Especially important are those who didn't find it funny.

Looks like I have a ways to go judging from what's been said:
"load of self congratulatory nonsense,"
"You are a man. There ARE real women photographers too you know..."

Thankfully "we" are passionate, artistic and unafraid to speak our minds. I don't know about you, that's what makes me return here daily.

#35 Comment By Scott Baradell On October 10, 2009 @ 1:12 pm

Peter, you haven't gone viral unless you've annoyed at least a few people 😉 Keep up the great posts!

#36 Comment By shyfotogrfr On October 18, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

Wow! At first I thought this was funny and self-deprecating (especially about the vest), but I was soon overcome by a sense of photography elitism. There are people who paint that aren't artists, people who play sports who aren't athletes and certainly people who take pictures who aren't 'real photographers'. But for some who have a passion for photography and a lust for learning and honing our skills, this list is pretty discouraging. I hope you meant it to be funny, but if some of your readers are checking things off and then saying they've arrived, then it's not that funny really. Ansel Adams was a real photographer. How many of you take photographs the same way he did? It's an evolving art form and to each his own as long they achieve their art!

#37 Comment By Shiva – Malaysia Thru the Lens On October 19, 2009 @ 5:51 am

End of the day, it is the person behind his equipment. I have seen people with really hihg end cameras and not knowing how to operate it according to its extended abilities. What is scarier is that they pay $$$$ for such equipments and use it no better than a point an shoot :)

#38 Comment By CT On October 21, 2009 @ 5:28 am

22. You can't look through a photo album without wondering what camera wa being used

23. Whenever you look through a book that has pictures of landscapes, if you're impressed, you make a note to go there and best the photo

#39 Comment By Bob On October 23, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

Thanks for the laughter. Loved the article. Keep it up! And people, it's supposed to be funny. Don't take it too seriously, and don't take it too personally. That's part of the problem with the world today.

#40 Comment By dallas allbritton On October 25, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

some of the response are a little too serious but that's cool to. SO.. I should not go out & get that vest? They look soo cool in the mag's :)

#41 Comment By DeeAnn On October 26, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

Don't buy the vest Dallas if you are short like me. The small Domke vest I won, sold to another photographer. Maybe if I was bigger...

#42 Comment By Stock photo blog On October 28, 2009 @ 5:52 am

I'm still working on point 3. My three year old now makes me stop in the street because she wants to take a photo!

#43 Comment By Bryan Lever On November 2, 2009 @ 11:56 am

#26 When someone says to you "Oh, is that what that button is for!"

#44 Comment By Claimsman On November 11, 2009 @ 3:06 am

Lots of laughs.... loved the list. I will never be a "real" photographer because I have no desire to shoot professionally (though I have done some paid work... hired by people who like my work), and I wear a vest when shooting seriously... those pockets are really handy!

#45 Comment By Ivanovitch On December 1, 2009 @ 3:48 am

Peter, this is great, a pity too many people could not see the funny side, a sure sign we have become too PC. I have been pro for 30+ years and sadly have never worn a vest :-)

#46 Comment By Dallas On December 1, 2009 @ 10:07 am

well that tears it for me... :) If a 30 year vet does not wear a vest, neither am I!!

#47 Comment By Leon Poels On December 18, 2009 @ 5:45 am

When asked to make outdoor portraits, you're delighted when the sun disappears.

#48 Comment By Gary Tanner On December 22, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

OMG, I haven't laughed this hard in a very long time. BTW, what is a vest? ROFL

#49 Comment By Denver Engagement Photographer On December 23, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

"9. Photo lab workers ask you to complete paperwork to verify that you own the copyright to the pictures you bring in."

That happened to me just last week, and made me re read this post. Hilarious stuff.

#50 Comment By CJ On January 14, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

Wesley!! "I find it extremely annoying when I'm asked to fill out copyright releases, which is why I don't get my photos printed at Wal-Mart anymore."
Real Photographers don't go to mass department stores to print photos! Your funny!!

#51 Comment By Kahuna On January 18, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

Humorous, but ultimately, hogwash.

#52 Comment By Brad On January 21, 2010 @ 4:26 am

Agreed, Kahuna. You should remake the list, substituting the mainstream SLR jokes with inside jokes only rangefinder and view camera users would know. Or it could be over and done with with only one stipulation such as, you know you're a real photographer when there's film in your camera. Zing!

#53 Comment By Kaylin Idora On January 26, 2010 @ 1:03 am

Hilarious ... Too bad it's geared toward men. But I am sure someone has already pointed that out ... :)

#54 Comment By kurt dreas On January 29, 2010 @ 12:24 am

1- a real photog. says ASA, not ISO.
2- the tax papers sent to the govt. tell who are real photogs.
3- always has a camera w/ them. ( p&s, dslr, slr,
whatever ).
4- has a fantastic inventory of film equip. = great backup, if needed.
5- knows how to develop, contact, edit, print the films they shot.
6- still has access to or owns a good working darkroom.
7- started out using, developing (etc) tri-x & plus-x hp-5, films.
8- knows how to see where to meter, vs. metering everything.
9- is aware of shades of gray, using B & W films.
10- knowing that B & W is beautiful, & artistic;
although we see in color, B & W is harder to use correctly, but it offers much more - visually.

#55 Comment By kurt dreas On January 29, 2010 @ 1:33 am

sorry, i forgot # 11......

backup backup backup.

camera bodies, flash units, pc cords, batteries, flash cards, film, lenses, lens tissue & lens fluid
( usually overlooked - alas ), small can of air, handheld meter, etc. Remember:

#56 Comment By Juan Madrigal On February 7, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

Awesome, I knew I was o photographer since two years ago when these things started to happen. But there's a couple of facts that I never realized...

1. ME: I have three backups of my work... PEOPLE: Why? Are you crazy paranoid?
2. You have a workflow and discuss about metadata with photographers.
3. You laugh/chuckle when you see a non-pro holding pro-gear.
4. Feels naked going out without a camera.
5. Has a pro-photo printer at home, and friends ask why do you need 8 ink cartridges.
6. Your photographer friends tell you, you're getting better.
7. Loves B&W but only feels it should be captured on B&W film
8. All your family and friends ask you for gear advice.

Awesome article. keep them coming...

#57 Comment By Tiffany On February 9, 2010 @ 2:40 am

This article gave me a good chuckle, which I expect was its intention.

To the people who decided that this forum was perfect for bragging about their accomplishments, upbringing & self-asserted expert knowledge of who-cares-what, I say stop making lists & go be a photographer. Peter's list wasn't meant to be a serious, definitive checklist of what makes you a professional photographer. His list was all in fun & good taste; some of these earlier comments were not.

I can't think of any photographer who would be impressed by some of the things that were said above. Although some of those comments may have been made by "real photographers", they were certainly void of the professionalism that any "real photographer" should possess.

Thanks, Peter, for the good laugh!

#58 Comment By EperAgi On February 10, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

Made me chuckle, just what I needed after an awful day. Thank you!

#59 Comment By Celebratographer On February 11, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

What a delightful read. Thanks! Some of the comments and suggestions were wonderful too.

CT - Thanks for # 23 - Ka-Ching!

I have 2 vests and I wear them when I shoot IDPA. LOL

#60 Comment By emmatog On February 19, 2010 @ 4:54 am

what a load of sexist crap!

#61 Comment By Tiffany On February 19, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

Sexism is when someone's comments or writings are geared towards putting down the opposite sex; not when they are worded in such a way that it points to the fact they the writer or issuer is of a specific gender and that their comments are reflective of such.

#62 Comment By Matt Julien On February 20, 2010 @ 5:05 pm

"a real photog. says ASA, not ISO."
Whoever said that (or repeated it) should doublecheck their information. Or, we, readers, should be aware they may not be "real photographers" themselves.
ISO (International Standard Organization) officially replaced ASA (American Standard Association) around 1987... almost 25 years ago. I guess the last twenty five years must have seen the coming of age of many a "real photographer" that has never used ASA.
Considering the dates, the "R" should thence stand for "Retired" rather than "Real. ;o)

#63 Comment By Carina Felice On March 9, 2010 @ 8:20 am

ahhahaha, fanstastic, it a perfect definition of ourselves. Great.

#64 Comment By Rika Boyd On March 16, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

Cute list!
People get over yourselves! Seriously, if you can't take a joke, don't read post like this!

#65 Comment By carolinebeake On March 27, 2010 @ 10:13 am

sexist crap

ps: dictionary definition of sexism:
behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex

#66 Comment By Beth On March 30, 2010 @ 3:34 am

I am not a real photographer by any means - but, if you want to blend in, not only do you ditch the vest, but, you add stick on rhinestone bling to your lens hood. No real photographer would ever use bling on a lens hood!

#67 Comment By kurt dreas On April 24, 2010 @ 4:03 am

RE: ASA Vs. ISO, I probably should have said that a photog. should know when ASA was the norm, as a way of defining film sensitivity. Also when Ilford made HP-5 with 72 frames. Also when XP-2 was a successor to XP-1. ( fine C-41 developed B/W film ). Actually the negs were used to print on B/W paper, although it did have a slight Magenta cast. The idea was to get it developed at a 1 hour lab, then take it to Your darkroom & print it. And finally, remember when all the newspapers had B/W pix in them, and when color was introduced. ( an improvement? - probably ).

#68 Comment By MJ On April 27, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

Tee hee aha! Hilarious but true...and yes what about the ladies? I did stop a guy and ask him about his camera and walked away! lol. I didn't even notice until I read this post.

The Fed EX and UPS guys have my cell phone number so I can be sure I am home!lol. We havea routine now....lol.

#69 Comment By Peter Garner On May 10, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

* When you go on vacation your camera kit weighs more than your clothes and other alleged "essentials" and takes up more space.

* When asked by the Police to erase your pictures (from your DSLR) you sigh, agree, and hand over the roll of film from your pocket 😉

#70 Comment By BobK On May 11, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

Wow! I'm on my 4th Domke vest. I'm glad I am not thin skinned. And to Peter Garner-I switched from film to old 160 MB cards to give to the police. Great humorous post. Thanks.

#71 Comment By Harvey Crosby On May 27, 2010 @ 7:43 pm

This is just not funny. It's not anything, it's just lame drivel. Were you trying to be funny? Stick to taking photos, you're fairly good at it. Words, no.

#72 Comment By Mike Schnelle On June 4, 2010 @ 12:41 am

19.1 - the super telephoto cost more than you first 2 cars - combined

#73 Comment By Tim Woodward On June 13, 2010 @ 9:31 am

I like this, very true... particularly no. 6!!! Perhaps you should add another for the benefit of Harvey above:

22: Your images incite strong emotions in those who can't quite match your talent! :-)

#74 Comment By Rob On June 23, 2010 @ 2:46 am

Funny list, and very entertaining comments too :)

#75 Comment By Phil On July 7, 2010 @ 4:42 am

I did write sokme 20 lines to comment on all those with no sense of humor, but then realized that I should concentrate on what I liked instead of what I didn't... and so I say:

Thanks Peter Phun, your list is a funny read and I would love to read more of the same (I just love being reduced to stereotypes for a laugh and I try to "feel into it" even when it doesn't really hit the spot)

#76 Comment By Logan On July 26, 2010 @ 11:52 am

How about a list doesn't make you a professional... waste of time.

#77 Comment By larryg On August 2, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

re#16: I bought an Italian Army surplus vest instead of the standard "lumpy fat-man vest" because it was tailored, and not mistaken for a fishing costume call, either.

#78 Comment By Robin Nelson On August 12, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

A real photographer knows how to light the shoot for, say Kodachrome at f8, and have it look like existing light. A veteran photographer would remember what Kodachrome is..

#79 Comment By Michal Fanta On August 29, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

If you need a sign, you are not a "real" photographer.

If you need to be called a "REAL" photographer, are you really a "real" photographer?

"Labels Are for Cans not for Photographers"

Best Regards.

#80 Comment By AE_parker On August 29, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

Michal Fanta... I thought this was a funny post. I think it was all in fun. Most people don't need a label and if they do, then that there propagative.

#81 Comment By gary heiden On September 2, 2010 @ 9:46 am

you know when your truly dedicated to capturing close up nature image when dragonfly or spider is busy eating the dengue carrying mosquitos buzzing round your head.

#82 Comment By Lettricia Spell On September 3, 2010 @ 11:27 am

Fun! Made me LOL. Left one out though... All the first time Mommies.

#83 Comment By kekaru On September 8, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

very funny, I laughed to hard when i read the one about the pretty woman.

#84 Comment By George On September 13, 2010 @ 10:20 am

When you buy a new lens you instantly start looking at its replacement.

#85 Comment By Andy On September 23, 2010 @ 7:07 am

What a load of bollocks, whilst some of those may apply to "real photographers" several more aptly describe the irritating breed of photographer who isn't as good as they think they are and who spends all their time gear whoring and telling others how to shoot.


6: a real photographer wouldn't be checking out a beautiful woman's camera, that's the attitude of a gear obsessed geek.

8: as above but add stuck up to the qualities you posses.

10: the in-law has probably stopped giving you tips because you're so damn annoying asking all the time.

16: a photovest? really? unless you're on a expedition in wilderness territory - no.

#86 Comment By Beth On September 23, 2010 @ 11:31 am

Maybe time to close the comments on this thread and start a new one, entitled "How To Tell When You've Lost Your Sense Of Humor"
Get a grip Andy - everyone who is a true professional photographer laughs at comments like these, and enjoys the humor for what it is.

#87 Comment By Bel On September 25, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

I love this! hehehe

#88 Comment By Bryan Lever On October 25, 2010 @ 6:19 am

Photographers choices:
Nikon is no con
Canon is for war journos
Minolta the photographers alter
Olympus for the gods of photography
Pentax is for tax avoiders
Samsung is your sing song

#89 Comment By Martin Ellard On December 23, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

I still haven't cracked number 20 yet ;o)

#90 Comment By Peter Phun On December 24, 2010 @ 12:09 am

Wow, more than a year later after this originally posted, it's nice to know someone is reading this. Merry Christmas. Thanks Martin for reminding me about this post.

#91 Comment By Erik On January 19, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

#22 You spend your days arguing about when is a "photographer" a "photographer"?

Fun post! I found it through linked in. It's important to keep a good sense of humor about these things. 😀

#92 Comment By Meethil Momaya On May 9, 2011 @ 5:42 pm


This list was made on the 1st of October of some year. I am guessing it was 2009. Its terribly outdated. I have made another one that is inspired from the one above. Its can be read at [2]

#93 Comment By katied On June 20, 2011 @ 1:17 am

Jesus, the snark this thing elicited. What up with that? It's a cute list; frigging roll with it, you nose-in-the-air pros. You're a tad big for your britches if you have to point out your offense.

#94 Comment By oblever On June 20, 2011 @ 8:19 am

@katied. Tell me, how does the Lord Jesus Christ, fit into this string. Pity there were no images of him recorded - guess there were no professional photographers around at that time!!

#95 Comment By Abby Grace Photography On June 20, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

this. is. awesome.

#96 Comment By Dreamcatcher Photography On June 20, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

Lots of truth in this list, and it's amusing! I have been a professional photographer for almost 30 years and found it funny, there are alot of people commenting here who need to lighten up! I have a feeling they are also people who have never heard of an f stop, shutter speed, etc.!

#97 Comment By David B On June 20, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

1 sign you're a real blogger: You realize black text on a dark gray background might not be the best idea.

Your photo tips (once I highlighted them) looked good though.

#98 Comment By KG2V On June 20, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

Who shops at a photo store? Ah, those of us who have B&H/Adorama as our local store?

#99 Comment By Scott Baradell On June 21, 2011 @ 8:16 am

David, what browser are you using. The main (center) column should appear to you as black text on a white background.

#100 Comment By Peter Garner On June 21, 2011 @ 9:04 am

People you've just taken a picture of get really upset when you tell them they can't see the picture because you're using film..

#101 Comment By Toni Aull On June 21, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

So Spoken and True!!

#102 Comment By SGHOSH On June 21, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

Well, I just had some time and read thru the full list of comments. This is wonderful. I like when people post comments and make a fool of themselves. Somewhere I heard most photographers are GAY. No offence, but I feel most dont get humours and want to join WWF. Great work guys, with the comments.

#103 Comment By Mark On July 6, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

fun fun fun...the stuffy responses remind me of some intimidating times going into a photography store for the first time and asking questions, only to get scoffed at by the employees...like any other hobby/profession, there is a fair share of photo snobs out there and they do a great disservice to photography...lucky for me I wasn't deterred by the snobbishness and have pursued it with great passion and try to answer questions and help others ot enjoy it! peace!

#104 Comment By ALVIN MCNEALY On July 28, 2011 @ 2:17 am

Number 9 happen to me at a sam's club. I did a wedding gown setting for a bride, took it to sam's where I have all my processing done. Came to pick up my 18x20 photo and the lady asked me for the photographer's copyright information since it was a professional photo! Had to go back to my truck and get my d7000 and prove it was my work(smile)!

#105 Comment By Mike Jacobson On July 29, 2011 @ 4:52 am

July 28th,2011 at 11:49PM
With so many different opinnions come so many different comments.I'm an award winning photographer, been shooting for over 40 years. While sitting at a coffee bar,I was asked if I had been taking any photos' lately. During the conversation another gent spoke up. I have a little point and shoot and can take as good as picture as anyone! Befor I could say a word a friend spoke up,"You just keep taking your picture's, Mike here takes Photographs". There is a difference!

As for being real, I resemble #6. however, The phrase needs to be rewritten: You know your an OLD photographer when....

BOB K: Information you might be interested in.
Check out these guidlines - legal rights of Photographers [3]

#106 Comment By Dana King On August 5, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

6. A gorgeous woman with a digital SLR brushes by you — and you only notice her camera and what kind of lens she has.

Either your a photographer or have officially hit "middle-age" or both!

Sad thing is -- I do this. I never laughed so hard.

#107 Comment By Mike Jacobson On August 8, 2011 @ 9:50 am

#6. Dana,thanks for your comment, I believe the answere is, both!

#108 Comment By chromosone XX On September 7, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

I was going to re-post this piece until I read point number 6...How very presumptuously sexist and homophobic of the writer to assume that only heterosexual men are "real" photographers...get real!

#109 Comment By Jenny On September 8, 2011 @ 12:26 am

#22. You have to check in your gear at the airport as there are too many pieces to fit in your carry-on.

#110 Comment By Jenny On September 8, 2011 @ 12:26 am

#22. You have to check in your gear at the airport as there are too many pieces to fit in your carry-on.

#111 Comment By Autumn Azure On September 8, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

How about:

You know how to use the equipment you have. You know its strengths and weaknesses.

You have multiple cameras for different types of photography mediums (both film and digital)

You know how to use your editing tools to bring out the best in an image

You know when to take the camera out and when to leave it tucked away

And last but not least, you have an undying desire to be better and that includes shooting til you're dead and devouring others' work so you can appreciate what they bring to the photography world and to the world in general

#112 Comment By Miachelle DePiano On September 9, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

I'm glad I read your two posts. Fantastic, and as a woman, I'm far from offended. Thank you.

#113 Comment By Bill Skinner On September 15, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

Fantastic Peter! Do not let the haters get you down. These 21 and your followup 15 are great!

#114 Comment By John On September 17, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

I'm sorry for vocal-minority heterophobes and feminists who can't appreciate this! Nice list!

#115 Comment By G On November 15, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

Very funny! But it's slanted toward photographers who are married. Being photographers is a big reason many of us are single!

#116 Comment By lucy unsworth On February 17, 2012 @ 11:21 am

#20 so true!
And when he does,I get "Really" you need it?

#117 Comment By Kim Smith On March 15, 2012 @ 3:51 am

Very funny post!
I would have to add a couple to the list:
Your favorite work is at home because you only show the work your client would most like.
When someone asks you what gear you used, you can't remember because it was whatever you had in hand.
Majority of your profit comes from your business.
Your photo shoot has a few duds, instead of a few good ones.
You're never content with your work.

#118 Comment By Bernard Bleach On May 29, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

Another blog post that is really off the mark and a load of rubbish and a waste of time.Why people like you bother to post this is beyond me. It has absolutely nothing to do with the reality of pro photographers.Or maybe you believe that writing things like this create some sort of interest in your site and therefore will expose you to more hits/links etc.

#119 Comment By kurt dreas On May 29, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

Bernie Bleach: Calm down, go take your missed RX, and purchase a sense of humor, If you know what it looks like -- when you see one. Casual, photographic musings, garnered from years of work & observations. Not taking everything so serous, is one of the ways to live longer & enjoy yourself along the way. As far as "the reality of pro photographers": There are as many "pro-photog's" as there are people who have cameras. Whether using a Nikon, Canon, Yashica, Minolta, Hasselblad,
Mamiya, Deardorf, or a Brownie; the handler of the camera makes the pictures. If that's how they pay their bills, (75-100%) and that means they are professional.
Try to enjoy your craft, (presumably Photography) and take your self less serous, and your deliveries to clients, seriously. Very few careers are worth an ulcer, or general unhappiness with your work & life. I think we are all alloted one life, so please enjoy the trip and work for amusements and fulfullment; not just adding & subtracting arbitrary numbers representing a persons success or failure in their unending race to the "fade to black".

#120 Comment By Scene Stealer On June 6, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

A real honest to goodness photographer carries with him/her a remarkable sense of humor in the face of challenges and ridicule.

And yes to your #18. I am unashamed to carry a small point and shoot (actually a powerful micro 4/3) in events crawling with wannabe photographers lugging heavy DSLRS.

In my case, however, on my blogs and web portfolio, the only time my sense of humor runs out fast is when they compliment me on my images generously, and end it with a 'SIR'. (nostrils start dilating and fuming dragon smoke) 😀

Thank you, Peter. They should know by now that your last name actually spells Fun. 😀 (but you don't fly, do you?)

#121 Comment By Captured Journeys Photography On July 13, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

So funny yet true!!! Hilarious.
Love it.I guess I fall into the category ha ha ha.

#122 Comment By John Vass On November 5, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

#1 I hate it when people hand me their camera! You want a photo? Maybe I'll just e mail something because I'm not laying my camera down! If I like you I won't even charge you!

#2 I still chimp sometimes so I got bigger batteries, But over the years I know when I just got something good, stop chimping and just shoot to build on the moment! I chimp so I don't get 200 miles down the road and realize in my excitement I didn't change the settings! It happens! So what?

## The kids stopped fussing because they grew up, but it's okay though because they drop their kids off. The grandkids are a lot more fun and twice as cute as they ever were!

#4 We don't have a camera store, but there was a camera counter down at the old drug store. I would stop by and see "Andy" and he would show me all kinds of things! Andy asked to use a few of my prints to show other people what a certain camera could do, so I dropped some off! I figured why not, he had spent a lot of time pitching products to me that I rarely bought. A few months later I met "Andy" along a trail in the hills and stopped to talk to him! He acted like he didn't know me and I was going steal his "photography mojo" secrets! Anyway! They got bought out and closed. I don't think I'll be buying a camera at the new Walgreens!

#5 Bokeh? I remember the day I realized they had a word for it. I fell off my Big Wheel!

#6 I may be old(er) but I'm not dead! I notice the woman, the camera, and the lens and if she wearing a dress with heels and knows how to walk in them! I don't really care about the camera or lens. I approach her for a photo. A woman in a dress and heels is as rare as Bigfoot in these parts

#7 No matter what! It's always about the light!

#8 I haven't been to a concert in 30 years, but I do get a little giggle inside when someone shows me a photo of an elk they took!
"You see the brown spot? That's it!"
I always lie "That's awesome!"
I guess it would be the same thing at a concert.
"Yeah the blurry dot! It's Mick Jagger!"
"Awesome" (Two thumbs up) Why say anything else when everyone is a potential client!

#9 I don't use the local lab because they haven't invented a digital mimeograph!

#10 I have in-laws who do weddings. They have never offered tips and I have never asked! I do know that their parents have a least two of my photo books on their coffee table. I've never seen their work so what can I say?

#11 It's a free country but this happens! I tested it one time to see because it seemed to be happening a lot. I thought maybe I was crazy. I was taking photos at a bear jam in Olympic National Park one spring! A black bear was feeding in a meadow full of flowers. (Big black dot surrounded by little red dots! Awesome! Two thumbs up!) When I was done I walked across the road and snapped a few shots down towards some trees, shooting at nothing. I walked over to my truck and got in and watched two other people walk over to take the same shot of nothing! They looked back up the road at me wondering what the heck I was shooting at. They shot anyway in case they missed something! So Yeah it happens a lot in real life!

#12 Hey Peter! You seem to spend a lot of time in camera stores! I have helped people figure out what they think they need, but if what they have works for what they do. I'll tell them to learn what all the buttons do on the camera they have! It's hard to convince someone not to get more than they need!

#13 Hollywood makes murder, mayhem, and car chases look good too! You can do the wrong thing for the right reason no matter who gets killed! Yeah! They're full of crap!

#14 And this is a problem?

#15 I have never asked! Why? Good is good no matter what they did!

#16 They make those on purpose? I thought those were fishing vests! Don't wear those ether! But I'll be the first to say don't hate the vest!

# 17 Group shots! What can you say!
"Any last wishes?",
"Look here!",
"Don't blink!"
If you don't line them up against the wall then you have to deal with moving targets! Then it turns into trap shooting. Pull!

#18 Any camera is better than no camera!

#19 Before you allow yourself to be impressed by that long lens you need to know, for the money you could take a really, really long vacation to New Zealand and Australia instead. What are you going to remember when you get old? A lens or the day you shot The Twelve Apostles from the air? If you decide that you have to have the long lens while you are there? Rent one!

#22 I think the last one is pretty basic and I don't think you can be overexposed on Twitter. Overexposed is when someone on TV says your name with the words "film at eleven"!

I love this! The responses are proof that sometimes the strangest birds in the forest are the photographers! Ca-Caw! Ca- Caw!

#123 Comment By Ed.B On November 21, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

I still don't understand the angst every one seems to have with regards to chimping. Maybe I don't understand the term completely. However I would argue that depending on what you are shooting, looking at the back is sometimes a necessity.Maybe there is a maximum number of "peeks" at the back before it's considered chimping?? I challenge you guys to shoot a live music, where the light is constantly changing and the subjects are always moving and not look at the back of your camera. OK, so you don't look at the back of your camera because you are a "pro", go home with your 1200 images, and sit at the computer and start deleting, mean while, I have gone home with 150 images from the same event, I will spend how much much much less time at my computer deleting images??? and more time wondering if I should sell my vest or not!!!

#124 Comment By Neita Ashley On February 9, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

There's a song by Jerry Jeff Walker that I sing in my head when I see that kind of photo: "Up Against the Wall Redneck Mothers"

#125 Comment By Martin Bayhorse On February 15, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

Great list and some great comments Only thing I would address without singling anyone out Is on a comment. I have my doubts you were ever a "real" serious photog having your film done at wall mart unless your happy with the inconsistencies in developing often found with commercial consumer labs

#126 Comment By Tom Steenhuysen On February 27, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

when #9 happened ... that was a big-smile moment :)