Every point mentioned below has a positive and negative side, which is something you have to accept, or you can chance your approach to taking photos and talking to people. I’m guessing a lot of photographers experience similar things when starting out, for reading I simply I refer to the third person or “you” as a reference to myself, since these are my own experiences, which seem to be common conversations in photography forums and photography books.

The article does have a cynical slant. Obviously I don’t hate all my friends who’ve asked me about my photos. I am pointing out that some people have a very limited knowledge of a photographer’s life.

I think finding a purpose or direction in photography means realising that your time is valuable and you can’t please everyone all the time. I am figuring out who my true friends are who love me with or without a camera. When it comes to choosing who to help out, do shoots for, or just who to hang out with, I want to put my closer friends as a priority over people who I sort of know but not really.

Enjoy going through these and let me know if they enlighten you on a topic or you’ve had the same experience as a photographer.


Positive: If you do a lot of shoots or events, your number of friends on Facebook will probably double in two years.

Negative: See above. That is, the FB friends gained since being a photographer tend to be people you’ve only ever met once, or add you because they like photos you took of their friends.

Postive: You develop an insight into images, shapes and colours, to get the perfect photo.

Negative: See above. That is, you can turn memories from the rest of your life into high quality photos. Every birthday, holiday, concert, etc. You learn how to improve your own photos. But the problem is the first thing you notice about your friend’s photos on FB are how amateurish/blurry/poorly edited they appear, and you have to refrain from appearing over critcial by offering them unsoliticted advice.

Positive: You feel the urge to give photo advice and wisdom to friends with less experience, so that you can do them a favour and make them happy.

Negative: See above. When you offer advice on how to improve someone’s photos, they often see it as an insult to their photographic ability or that you are saying you are superior to them. A few people will say that they are hopeless and they will never take photos as well they want to or a well as you do. A few others will say that they are hopeless by themselves, but they have being waiting for a friend or a new friend to offer tips on improving their photos. Because they realise they can’t see their own weaknesses or they don’t how to find good advice without doing a photo course.

Positive: You see the world and your own life as a series photos, even if you don’t have camera with you, you visualise how the scene would look in sunset lighting, black and white, or cropped to a certain view.

Negative: See above. You get to see compositions, panoramas and the colour and quality of ligth as if your eyes are camera viewfinder, but it’s not something that it easy to turn off. Once you know that a white object in the shade is actually blue, you never look at the shade the same.

Positive: People will compliment you at events and shoots by saying “Wow you have an amazing camera!” or “I wish had your camera”.

Negative: See above. You find yourself explaining to people that it’s a photographer and not the camera that makes the photo. Some people will look at you and not sound impressed, as if you are boasting that you the photographer is doing all the hard work and the camera is under your full control. Or they feel threatened – as if their bad photos can’t be blamed on their cheap camera anymore and are not blamed on their ability or lack thereof.. Other more openminded people will have agree with you that the photographer is more important than the camera, and realise that you can’t buying a new camera doesn’t make anyone’s photos instantly better. Rather, there are a lot of very amateurish blurry photos taken with little thought or purpose, which are taken with very expensive cameras and lenses.

Positive: Friends and strangers who are impressed with your photos will say “Wow, you must have studied photography” or  “Where did you study photography?”

Negative: See above. A lot of people can’t conceive by themselves that photographers are often self-taught. You get irritated by people assuming that photographers need a formal education to get somewhere. Rather, you ask them if when they see a rock guitarist on stage they say “Wow, he must have gone to music school” or see an artist on the street and say “Wow, she must have gone to a really good art school”. You try to explain that ideas and inspiration can be drawn from photography books, magazines, online lessons, and tips from other photographers.

Positive: You get to surround yourself with people who talk to you because they love photos you’ve already taken, or they look forward to photos you will take of them or their event.

Negative: See above. By that I mean that you get to spend less time talking to people who just like talking to you for who you are.

Positive: You suddenly get invited to a whole of parties to take photos for friends or strangers.

Negative: See above. You don’t get invited much as friend anymore, you get invited as the guy with the camera. People who you know from school but you didn’t talk to much decide that they want you to come to their party and take photos for them.